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“The important thing in life is not what you get, but what you throw out.”

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source: In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter, directed by Tomas Leach (2014).

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medium: Documentary film

via: Beverly Bader

“Take things away until you cry.”

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source: “What Advice Would You Give a Graphic Design Student?,” Frank Chimero’s blog, August 20, 2010.

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medium: Blog

“A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit—to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort—that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.”

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source: “Best New Year’s Resolution? A ‘Stop Doing’ List,” USA Today, December 30, 2003.

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medium: newspaper article

“How much can one remove, and still have the composition be intelligible? Chekhov removed the plot. Pinter, elaborating, removed the history, the narration; Beckett, the characterization. We hear it anyway.”

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source: “Writers on Writing; Hearing The Notes That Aren’t Played,” The New York Times, July 15, 2002.

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medium: Newspaper Essay

“Life is selection, no more. The work of the gardener is simply to destroy this weed, or that shrub, or that tree, & leave this other to grow. The library is gradually made inestimable by taking out from the superabounding mass of books all but the best. The palace is a selection of materials; it’s architecture, a selection of the best effects. Things collect very fast of themselves; the difference between house & house is the wise omissions.”

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source: May–June 1846, Emerson in His Journals, selected and edited by Joel Porte (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 357.

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medium: Journal

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