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“ I have chosen to name “Divers” (Diverse) all that which up until today has been called strange, bizarre, unexpected, surprising, mysterious, passionate, superhuman, heroic and even at times divine – all that which is Other; that is to say, within each of these words to place the emphasis on the essential diversity which each term embraces.

“ For the word “aesthetic” I maintain the precise scientific meaning imposed upon it by the professionals of thought who safeguard it well. It is the science of performance and of rendering performance beautiful; it is the most marvelous tool of knowledge. It is a knowledge that cannot, nor should it be a means of determining all beauty in the world; but instead it indicates a part of beauty that each spirit, whether he will or no, does possess and either develops or neglects.”


Victor Segalen,
Essai sur l’exotisme: an
esthetic of the Diverse
(1904, travel journal)