Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Steinbeck on Consciousness of Abstracting

From The Log From The Sea Of Cortez:
The safety-valve of all speculation is: It might be so. And as long as the might remains, a variable deeply understood, then speculation does not easily become dogma, but remains the fluid creative thing it might be. Thus, a valid painter, letting color and line, observed, sift into his eyes, up the nerve trunks, and mix well with his experience before it flows down his hand to the canvas, has made his painting say, "It might be so." Perhaps his critic, being not so honest and not so wise, will say, "It is not so. The picture is damned." If this critic could say, "It is not so with me, but that might be because my mind and experience are not identical with those of the painter," that critic would be the better critic for it, just as that painter is a better painter for knowing he himself is in the pigment.

We tried always to understand that the reality we observed was partly us; the speculation, our product. And yet if somehow, "The law of thought must be the law of things," one can find an index of reality even in insanity. [p. 265, Viking Press, 1951]

No comments: