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I am thoroughly enjoying your foray into book reviews. You are such a talented writer in addition to being an excellent analyst of science, medicine and art.

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2 things:

A movie with two 2024 Oscar nominations (streaming now on Kanopy, available through many libraries) that deals so beautifully (IMO) with what it means to love two people/how love can shift and grow is "Past Lives." Recommend.

Have you seen this Ira Glass quote about taste exceeding abilities? It is a favorite:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

― Ira Glass

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I think you have probably created more than you realize

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Hi Vinay - Man for all seasons, are we? Good on you. That point you flagged, “There is a time for any fledgling artist where one's taste exceeds one's abilities. The only way to get through this period is to make things anyway.” Was something that I first heard Kurt Andersen of Studio 360 express long ago (15 years) with great sympathy and a great sigh. https://www.kurtandersen.com/studio-360 But art is all about "stealing" ideas and re-arranging them in new ways. - C

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