I’ve started reading this short book Days of Reading by Marcel Proust.
Two items to tell you about.
The first is the observation that “The configuration of something is not simply the image of its nature, it is the clue to its destiny and the transcript of its history.”
The second is this story:
JMW Turner was making a drawing of Plymouth harbour, with some ships at the distance of a mile or two, seen against the light.
Having shown this drawing to a naval officer, the naval officer observed with surprise and objected with very justifiable indignation that the ships of the line had no port-holes.
“No,” said Turner, “certainly not. If you will walk up to Mount Edgecumbe, and look at the ships against the sunset, you will find you can’t see the port-holes.”
“Well, but,” said the naval officer, still indignant, “you know the port-holes are there.”
“Yes,” said Turner, “I know that well enough; but my business is to draw what I see, and not what I know is there.”