|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:
to give the tone, there is no harmony in the production of art. Never,
on the other hand, has architecture discovered so many economical ways
of imitating the real and the solid, or displayed more resources, more
talent, in distributing them. Propose to an architect to build upon
the garden at the back of an old mansion, and he will run you up a
little Louvre overloaded with ornament. He will manage to get in a
courtyard, stables, and if you care for it, a garden. Inside the house
he will accommodate a quantity of little rooms and passages. He is so
clever in deceiving the eye that you think you will have plenty of
space; but it is only a nest of small rooms, after all, in which a
ducal family has to turn itself about in the space that its own
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
to fortune. I think there is no more money to be made by literature."
"Perhaps you don't choose good subjects. What do you write about?"
Miss Bordereau inquired.
"About the books of other people. I'm a critic, an historian,
in a small way." I wondered what she was coming to.
"And what other people, now?"
"Oh, better ones than myself: the great writers mainly--
the great philosophers and poets of the past; those who are
dead and gone and can't speak for themselves."
"And what do you say about them?"
"I say they sometimes attached themselves to very clever women!"