The importance of qualities of sparkle and shine in Chicano culture contrasts to their relative unimportance or even rejection in New England or Northern European Protestant communities.
In this paper I shall argue (i) that sparkle and shine are aesthetic terms; (ii) that they have been unduly neglected by 20th century aestheticians; (iii) that this is due not only to various prejudices mentioned above but also to inattention to the deeper dimensions of the qualities referred to by these terms; (iv) that they form a `core' to the concept of beauty, although certainly not literal necessary or sufficient conditions for beauty; and finally (v) that they may well be metaphorical necessary conditions for beauty nonetheless.
Our appreciation of nature is strongly associated with sparkle and shine.
The sparkle of sprayed water adds to the aesthetic pleasure we take in waterfalls and fountains.
Sparkle and shine have a deeper meaning, and this is mainly what I wish to explore here.
He criticized the theory of beauty as symmetry since it only allowed beauty in compounds and thus excluded the loveliness of colour and the beauty we find in such things as the light of the sun, gold, lightning, stars and individual musical tones, none of which have parts.(19) Augustine similarly insisted that beauty consists not only of suitable relationship of parts but also in pleasing colour and light.(20) Isodore noted that `marble pleases because of its whiteness, metals because of their sheen, and precious stones because of their glitter'.(21) Sparkle and shine are central to Medieval aesthetics, especially in the concept of claritas, which has been translated variously as clarity, brightness, light and lustre.
Although sparkle, shine and claritas lost importance in the Enlightenment (Kant demoted colour to the level of mere charm), they returned again in the Romantic period where the mind of the artist was thought a source of radiance.
Yet, with the possible exception of Guy Sircello, the qualities of sparkle and shine have been virtually forgotten in recent years.
One of the most important recent theories of beauty is that of Guy Sircello.(24) The aesthetics of sparkle and shine is very much present in Sircello's numerous examples.
Part of the reason why I believe that sparkle and shine have a deeper dimension is because they are used to refer to persons: their eyes, their personalities, their styles, their wits, their characters, their virtues.
We can only speculate concerning the origins of our interest in sparkle and shine.
Many natural phenomena are thought beautiful because of some association with sparkle and shine.
Things sparkle and shine in the sun, for example an island, a lovely pond, a new house or just a beautiful morning.
Rainbows, those exemplars of popular beauty, also exhibit many connections with sparkle and shine.
Another primal association with sparkle and shine is the importance of these qualities in precious metals and stones.