Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"To Generalize is to be an Idiot"

The award for best quote of the day goes to William Blake by way of Cynthia Wall's great book The Prose of Things.  Blake wrote this in the margin of his copy of Reynolds' Discourses:
To Generalize is to be an Idiot.  To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit. . . . Singular & Particular Detail is the Foundation of the Sublime.

1 comment:

  1. Except, of course, when the particulars are Natural Objects. (I recently came upon Edward Thomas's "Literary Pilgrim in England" which has a good chapter on this aspect of B's verse.)