“We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”A great line about artistic endeavor. So great, another writer used it in another article. I only just finished the book review section, and in the concluding essay, "Working on the Ending", by Gail Godwin, she uses the same quote, albeit without the great last line about madness:
“We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task.”Was this a recent quote of the day on some desk calendar? It was also used in the Times a few weeks ago, in an article about a museum opening, at which the quote was recited by a speaker. But besides this recent cluster, this quote has only appeared four times since 1981 in the NYT, and only once prior to that, according to their archives search.
Explanation? I'll have to defer to someone I'm much more likely to quote myself instead of Henry James:
A star fall, a phone call
It joins all
It's so deep, it's so wide
Effect without cause
Sub-atomic laws, scientific pause