Art or Failure
April 10, 2005 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Someone once told me that great art is always on the verge of failure. Is this a famous quote? What is the original quote and who said it?
posted by buriednexttoyou to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not in so many words, but here's a bunch of quotes along that line. I like this one from Emerson: "The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it – so fine that we often are on the line and do not know it."
posted by LeLiLo at 8:49 PM on April 10, 2005

Alan Sondheim said: "one's project is always open-ended and on the verge of failure."

I found the quote at the bottom of this review. I am not sure if it is the original you are looking for, but it doesn't appear to be very famous.
posted by brad! at 8:54 PM on April 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

Given lelilo's many samples, I'm not so sure this is a single quote but a general sentiment understood throughout the arts. I learned it from professors quoting Richard Hugo, who said that poets have to risk sentimentality and failure to come into their own.
posted by melissa may at 9:05 PM on April 10, 2005

I'll agree with Melissa. I've also heard it expressed as .. (paraphrased)"When you're creating, the highs are really high. But the lows are also really low, and sometimes you get too deep to climb out."
posted by SpecialK at 9:35 PM on April 10, 2005

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