Lewis Hyde

The passage into mystery always refreshes. If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies. We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not a solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible. Anything contained within a boundary must contain as well its own exhaustion. The most perfectly balanced gyroscope slowly winds down. But when the gift passes out of sight and then returns, we are enlivened.

— Lewis Hyde, The Gift

I Know Nothing

It’s appropriate to pause and say that the writer is one who, embarking upon a task, does not know what to do. …The not-knowing is crucial to art, is what permits art to be made. Without the possibility of having the mind move in unanticipated directions, there would be no invention.

—Donald Barthelme