We like to think that great works of art build to a perfect, proper ending. That Beethoven must have thought, “and now, it’s done!” But probably what really happened is that he got syphilis or gingivitis and thought, “Okay, got to finish this one.”
I think this happens all the time. We think what a perfect ending!—when really, what happened was, the writer got hungry and got up to get a sandwich. But I love that. There’s a fleetingness to the process—now it’s done, let’s move on.
— Reif Larsen
- Quoted from "The Fine Art of Ambiguous Writing," by Reif Larsen for the online edition of The Atlantic, February 2015.
- Interviewed at Stop Smiling.