Monday, January 14, 2008

Restrictions

"Yes, restrictions do serve as barriers. If someone has a treasure that he doesn't want stolen, he hides it in a place inaccessible to thieves and robbers. If he fears that one lock isn't enough, he affixes two locks. If he suspects that someone may try to tunnel toward them, he'll post a guard. Think of the many restrictions assumed by those who are concerned with literature, theater, music, fashions, women, or other worldly passions. I read somewhere that Flaubert never repeated a word within the same chapter. There are rich and elegant women who won't wear the same dress twice. Yes, worldliness is full of restrictions, too."

Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Penitent, page 88.