The asymmetry of creation

This post was written by Friday blogger Annie Reid.

I’m a big fan of Rochelle Gurstein’s “Out of Time” columns in the New Republic. Sometimes they’re behind the subscription wall, and luckily sometimes, like this week, they’re not. They’re devoted to examining:

What is present other than all those things–physical objects, ideas, and sensibilities as well as their traces and fragments–that have somehow persisted into our own time? It is a characteristic, yet peculiar condition of modern life: Even though our world is made up of just these things from the past, more often than not, they have become unintelligible to us, if not invisible. Is there any way to save them from disappearing altogether, let alone to save us from the emptiness that comes from living in a time that is so oblivious to the past that we are unaware of how radically estranged we are?

This time it’s “On the Asymmetry of Creation and Appreciation”, in which Gurstein muses on the proportion of time spent in creating, whether it be a sonata, a book, or the perfectly bred lily, to the amount of time spent in appreciation of that creation.


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