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“Read a wonderful definition by Henry James (senior) of what true progress is. Progress is a process like the modeling and carving of a statue from a block of marble, the elimination of all that is superfluous. The marble, the material, is nothing. The important thing is the carving, the trimming off of the superfluous.”

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source: March 9, 1891 entry, in Tolstoy’s Diaries: Volume 1 1847-1894. Selected, ed., and trans. by R. F. Christian (London: Faber and Faber, 2010), 304.

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medium: Diary

“Any progress you advance to them will be undone before your back is turned. You might as well come down here to unbend the river.”

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source: State of Wonder (New York: HarperCollins, 2011), 162–63.

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medium: Fiction

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