There is a crack in everything God has made.
—Emerson, “Compensation”
Our artist seems to believe in humanity.
Had I begun this book with such a blunt assertion, the reader would
have been forgiven for thinking that I or our artist or both are naive at
best, perhaps even unserious. After all, what in the world could it possibly
mean to say that one believes in humanity in this day and age? Indeed,
how is it possible for anyone to believe in anything anymore? Perhaps,
then, it is not belief but something else, what Stanley Cavell would call
not knowledge of others but acknowledgment of each other, of the pain
we suffer, of the existence of other minds, knowing that we cannot know
what is in others’ minds but that we can acknowledge the fact that they
do have minds, mutually acknowledging that we cannot know what other
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