Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Origins of Wednesday xxvi: A new word

  A friend wrote in the other day,
  engaging me on a proposition of
  Wittgenstein. This is virtually
  the universal daydream of every
  sensible person, and represents
  moral struggle, even to confide.

People go through their whole life, refraining from remarking on such fulfillment, for fear of complicating a fragility and purity of experience with exposure exciting its discoloration, including that of envy. This I now partially risk, without divulging the substance of the proposition, by observing an effect such a transfer can have. 

In this I discover origination, as if working backward through a painting's progress under the same mentality; and I discover vindication of another proposition of Wittgenstein, simply by following its breadcrumbs. The proposition is so explosive, it was only polite finally to present it in sumptuous, stylish paint, even at obvious risk of its whole character; and yet, this benevolence, this gift only gave it permanence. 

A new word is like a fresh seed sewn 
on the ground of the discussion.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Peter Winch
University of Chicago Press, 1980©

Antoine Watteau
Oil on canvas
Collection Metropolitan
  Musem of Art

Study of the head
  of a man
Red and black chalk
1718 - 1719
Collection Metropolitan
  Museum of Art

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