Style as Imitation

Leonardo #1, page 17 (1987) (detail; First Publishing reprint). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

1.

My father, who once trained as a baker, taught me when I was a kid how to bake an apple pie. I don’t know where he got the original recipe from; I highly doubt that he invented it. Certainly he didn’t invent the idea of baking pies. And he didn’t invent the idea of baking an apple pie.

He was very clear about certain instructions:

  • always use Granny Smith apples;
  • always use ice-cold water;
  • touch the dough as little as possible.

Since then, I’ve baked several apple pies, and over time I’ve modified the recipe slightly, but it’s essentially the same (and I never violate his prime instructions).

When I make a new apple pie, I’m not doing anything new.

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The Dominant, ctd.

Update: If a blog post can ever be said to be in honor of anyone, then consider this one in honor of Ruth Kligman. May she rest in peace.

In the comments section of my last post, Shya asked:

can someone write a truly romantic novel today? Or would it necessarily be a postmodern (or post-postmodern) exercise in romanticism?

I’d suspect that, even if we went back to Romantic Era, we’d have a hard time finding something “truly romantic.” As Pontius Pilate so insightfully asked Christ: Quid est veritas? (What is truth?)

So let’s leave aside truth for the moment, and try answering that question in a different way.

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