Terry Teachout — The Wall Street Journal

I typically do not post about articles that do not specifically mention food, wine and hotels, but Terry Teachout’s “Tinkering With the Ideal,” in the Sightings section of the Weekend Journal (April 18-19), was so profound that I couldn’t resist. Teachout opines about “when artists decide not to leave well enough alone.” Not only does this lesson apply to the famous writers and painters outlined in this excellent article, but it relates to winemakers, chefs, hoteliers, and, yes, everyday schmucks like you and me. The article ends with a commentary about Henry James. Teachout writes, “…the greatest of geniuses are just like the rest of us working stiffs. All they can do is aim high and hope for the best–and sometimes they, too, long for a second chance to hit the target. Speaking as a lesser mortal, I find that knowledge to be wonderfully consoling.” I too, find it consoling, whether it relates to one of my agonizing posts on foodwinehotels.com, or the simple e-mail I draft that is somehow never pleasing to the eye, all the way up to the last second when I hit the send button. What is the similar moment of anxiety for the chef, the winemaker, or the general manager of a hotel? The beauty of Teachout’s article is that it connects the brilliant tinkering of great artists with the anxiety and frustration of everyday folk like me (and perhaps you?). You can reach Terry Teachout at: teachout@wsj.com.

~ by Thomas on April 19, 2009.

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