Teaser Tuesdays: Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research by John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

I love Steinbeck. I know we just saw this one in a book beginning, but there is more to love. Check out this paragraph.

sea of cortez

The safety-valve of all speculation is: It might be so. And as long as that 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 this 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.

I think this is a lovely echo (better than the original) of a post I wrote just the other day. And I appreciate the insertion of this idea about critics, since I consider myself one: that we need to recall our place, acknowledge that my impression is only my own. I hope I remember to do that.

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