The Pleasure in Drawing

The Pleasure in Drawing

The Pleasure in Drawing

The Pleasure in Drawing

Excerpt

Drawing: this word in English suggests drawing out, stretching, and extracting. One can draw a line and draw a lesson. In French, one can draw out [tirer] a line or a lesson, but it is impossible to draw [dessiner] a lesson. Or rather, dessiner a lesson in French means something entirely different from “drawing” it. It would be to give an illustration, a visual representation of its contents, as when Plato asks his reader to draw a line in the mind that he will then divide into proportional segments in order to better understand the relation between the sensible and intelligible.

In French, dessiner a lesson is to make it be seen, to show and present it to an intuitive grasp. Tirer a lesson is to gather the lessons learned from a specific event that itself is not a lesson: for example—and again from Plato—to conclude from Socrates’ moral qualities that physical ugliness can harbor a wealth of ideas.

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