Weekend Words: Limit

Paul Gauguin, “Breton Woman in Front of a Fence” (1889), zincograph, 170 x 215 mm (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) (image via Web Gallery of Art)

What does the art market have in common with Major League Baseball and the Supreme Court? Spending limits are for suckers.

“Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.”

—G. K. Chesterton

“This is the monstrosity in love, lady, that the will is infinite, and the execution confined; that the desire is boundless, and the act slave to limit.”

—Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

—Ludwig Wittegenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

“The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains.”

—Napoleon Bonaparte

“I recommend limiting one’s involvement in other people’s lives to a pleasantly scant minimum. This may seem too stoical a position in these madly passionate times, but madly passionate people rarely make good on their madly passionate promises.”

—Quentin Crisp

“The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.”

—Italo Calvino

“For the last of it, the last and greatest art is to limit and isolate oneself.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”

—Mark Twain

“It is of the essence of imaginative culture that it transcends the limits both of the naturally possible and of the morally acceptable.”

—Northrop Frye

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