Resonant Thoughts: John McPhee On Form, Structure, and Scale

“When you are close like this, nearing satisfaction on something that has taken a very long time do to, you don’t want to be tempted to decide too soon that you are done. You need to add time for a final assessment of the over-all form and structure before removing those bits of clay and polishing the detail.

In the effects of a change of scale…there is an artistic message that carries beyond sculpture and into other realms, like writing, and I’m still trying to figure out how best to summarize it, relating, as it does, to the idea that a piece of writing ought not to be planned for a given size but developed to the length most suitable to the material, and no farther.”

– John McPhee, Tabula Rasa

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