Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Katherine Anne Porter

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I finished the thing; but I think I sprained my soul.
--
On her novel Ship of Fools (1962) in McCall's magazine (August 1965)

 
Katherine Anne Porter

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I had one experience which gave me some slant on the way large organizations run. I was not allowed to take spherical trigonometry because I'd sprained my ankle. Because I'd sprained my ankle I had an incomplete in gym, phys ed. And the rule was that if you had an incomplete in anything, you were not allowed to take an overload. I argued with some clerical person in the administration office, and was stopped there. It's an experience which I've remembered since, and advised people not to be stopped at the first point.

 
William Shockley
 

How little inventiveness there is in man,
Grave copier of copies, I give thanks
For a new relish, careless to inquire
My pleasure's pedigree, if so it please,
Nobly, I mean, nor renegade to art.
The Grecian gluts me with its perfectness,
Unanswerable as Euclid, self-contained,
The one thing finished in this hasty world,
Forever finished, though the barbarous pit,
Fanatical on hearsay, stamp and shout
As if a miracle could be encored.

 
James Russell Lowell
 

We are getting mixed up with the French tradition. In talking about the necessity to ‘finish’ a thing, we then said American painters ‘finish’ a thing that looks ‘unfinished’, and the French, they ‘they ‘finish’ it. I have seen Matisses that were more ‘unfinished’ and yet more ‘finished’ than any American painters. Matisse was obviously in a terrific emotion at the time and he was more’’unfinished’ than ‘’finished’.

 
William Baziotes
 

The totality of all alephs cannot be conceived as a determinate, well-defined, and also a finished set. This is the punctum saliens, and I venture to say that this completely certain theorem, provable rigorously from the definition of the totality of all alephs, is the most important and noblest theorem of set theory. One must only understand the expression "finished" correctly. I say of a set that it can be thought of as finished (and call such a set, if it contains infinitely many elements, "transfinite" or "suprafinite") if it is possible without contradiction (as can be done with finite sets) to think of all its elements as existing together, and to to think of the set itself as a compounded thing for itself; or (in other words) if it is possible to imagine the set as actually existing with the totality of its elements.

 
Georg Cantor
 

After all this running away from finished things, I ran into myself as a finished thing. And I’m still running away from finished things.

 
Antonio Porchia
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