A Bookmark of Sorts

First Son had a grand idea for a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip yesterday – something about not being able to test his mother’s theory about what made sundaes great without trying a second one – but he couldn’t get it to look right. He crumpled the paper in frustration. I showed him William Faulkner’s 1955 acceptance speech at the National Book Awards (he won that year for A Fable):

By artist I mean of course everyone who has tried to create something which was not here before him, with no other tools and materials than the uncommerciable ones of the human spirit; who has tried to carve, no matter how crudely, on the wall of that final oblivion, in the tongue of the human spirit, “Kilroy was here.”

That is primarily, and I think in its essence, all that we ever really tried to do. And I believe we will all agree that we failed. That what we made never quite matched and never will match the shape, the dream of perfection which we inherited and which drove us and will continue to drive us, even after each failure, until anguish frees us and the hand falls still at last.


Not sure I agree absolutely with the first part, but that bit about failure seems worth considering. It’s encouraging, in the odd way that the reassurance we get from the saints that we shall never be sinless is encouraging.

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