Friday, April 19, 2013

It's In The Details

I kind of liked incorporating a quote into my post last week so I thought I would give that another try and open with one this week.  My topic is details.  But whereas last week’s post was inspired from the two quotes already in my thoughts, this week I had to search to prove what I wanted to say was valid.   I found two quotes related to my subject. 

The first is by Oscar Wilde, one of my favorite writers or, more precisely, one of my favorite characters.  He said, “One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details.  Details are always vulgar.”  Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.  My thesaurus gives, as an alternative for “detail” “triviality.”  That wasn’t what I had in mind either, although trivial was an improvement on vulgar.

Then I came across a quote I liked better.  This one is by William Feather.  Now, I had never heard of William Feather so I had to look him up.  He was a publisher and a writer.  I was referred to Amazon, couldn’t find any of his books there, but I did find several references to him on the internet, so apparently he was famous for his aphorisms, one of which works for me: “Beware of the man who won’t be bothered with details.”

That’s the problem with looking for a quote to back up what you are trying to say.  It doesn’t always work.  In fact, I agree with Wilde, or at least with my thesaurus; details are often trivial, especially in conversation and even more so if the person speaks very slowly.  On the other hand, sometimes they are important.  They might perk up a boring salad or give meaning to the larger whole¸ whatever that whole might be.

So here I am in Figueres, not the most picturesque of towns.  It does not overlook the sea, there is no river flowing through it, it has no architectural marvels, it is just a plain, functional town with a nice, tree-lined rambla albeit only one block long.  Yet even so, if you look at the details among many nondescript buildings, you can find things to perk up the eye.

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