To excuse oneself before there is occasion is to accuse oneself, and to draw blood in full health gives the hint to ill-will. An excuse unexpected arouses suspicion from its slumbers.
Such was the counsel, eloquent as ever, of Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601–1658), Spanish baroque author and jesuit bad boy, to the readers of his instruction in The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Three and a half centuries later, I have still not learnt his lesson. I will begin by excusing myself, that is – just as I did at the conference where this article was first presented.
“The poetics of history, or Hatching an ugly duckling: research in mode √2”, ArtMonitor. A journal of artistic research, nr. 8 (2010), s. 120–126 (7 s.), ISSN 1653– 9958. Read the entire text here.