It’s an old expression.
Lots of people have said it.
Shakespeare has said it: Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye (Love’s Labour’s Lost).
You probably know it as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I know it as T-shirt slogan and the vision of the credits from the James Bond film, GoldenEye, with Tina Turner singing the soundtrack in the background (speaking of farfetched memory and meaning overlay).
In More Mileage for Your Metaphorical Money, I gave a few clichés a new polish. Today, I look at Anne Carson‘s version of what is to be found in the eye of the beholder; her Quote isn’t as snazzy, but in some grotesque way it is memorable. Towards the end of Autobiography of Red the protagonist, Geyron, attends a meal where guinea pigs are served … as food. He does not eat the poor cooked beast on his plate (it’s a she, we’re told). Geyron and his friends get up to leave.
Quote: In the cooling left eye of the guinea pig / they all stand reflected / pulling out their chairs and shaking hands. The eye empties.
What makes the Quote quiver?
Unadorned, cinematic detail.