3. “There is something about that burning of all those letters that gives me pause: why should everything be made clear and be brought into the light? Why keep things, archive your intimacies? Why not let thirty years of shared conversation go spiralling in ash up into the air of Tunbridge Wells? Just because you have it does not mean you have to pass it on. Losing things can something gain you a space in which to live.”
6. “All art is the result of one’s having been in danger of having gone through an experience all the way to the end when no one can go any further. This is what it is like to be an artist – you are unsteady on the edge of life like a swan before an anxious launching of himself on the floods where he is gently caught.”
9. “Charles bought a picture of some asparagus from Manet, one of his extraordinary small still lifes, where a lemon or rose is lambent in the dark. It was a bundle of twenty stalks bound in straw. Manet wanted 800 francs for it, a substantial sum, and Charles, thrilled, sent 1,000. A week later Charles received a small canvas signed with a simple M in return. It was a single asparagus stalk laid across a table with an accompanying note: ‘This seems to have slipped from the bundle.”
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