Thursday, January 27, 2022

Quote of the Day (Wendell Berry, on How Artists Deal With ‘The Problem of Limits’)

“It is the artists, not the scientists, who have dealt unremittingly with the problem of limits. A painting, however large, must finally be bounded by a frame or a wall. A composer or playwright must reckon, at a minimum, with the capacity of an audience to sit still and pay attention. A story, once begun, must end somewhere within the limits of the writer’s and the reader’s memory. And of course the arts characteristically impose limits that are artificial: the five acts of a play, or the fourteen lines of a sonnet. Within these limits artists achieve elaborations of pattern, of sustaining relationships of parts with one another and with the whole, that may be astonishingly complex. And probably most of us can name a painting, a piece of music, a poem or play or story that still grows in meaning and remains fresh after many years of familiarity.”— American novelist, poet, essayist, and environmental activist Wendell Berry, “Faustian Economics,” Harper’s, May 2008

(The image accompanying this post, showing Wendell Berry standing before the solar panels on his farm in Henry County, KY, was taken on Dec. 14, 2011, by Guy Mendes.)

No comments: