Academic, Creative Writer, Editorial Consultant, Journalist

The work of art, the Greeks thought, should possess enargeia, or shining vitality, the enhanced vividness which, when present in a work of art, magnifies it not in size but in impact, the quality that makes your eyes widen as the image seems to fasten on your gaze.

The greeks admired naturalistic illusion, and identified enargeia with lifelikeness (the bunch of grapes that deceived birds; the curtain painted by Parrhasius that his rival, Zeuxis, tried to draw aside). But I recognize it as the quality of presence that fills one made thing more than another, and charges it with the power to command attention and radiate significance.

-Marina Warner, Forms of Enchantment

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