PRINT November 1996

Q & A

Coveted Creations

IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED when you were a teenager, still cultivating the tastes you would someday turn into a career (or at least enjoy as everyday pleasures). You’re reading a book, or looking at a painting, or listening to a piece of music that crashes in on you and triggers a ferocious sense of recognition, and you sputter, “I wish I had done this!”

The awe may be inspired by an athlete who uses his body like a magic toy, a painter who captures a moment with the faintest brushstroke, a writer who crafts in words the subtlest emotions. When I told a friend about this column, she immediately said, “I wish I’d created the 1939 World’s Fair! No, I know. I wish I had written the New Deal!” While one person may wish he had painted Guernica, another might just as well wish she had invented the safety pin or penned the Declaration of Independence. So, convinced that the wish to have created that!

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