Saturday, June 1, 2013

Leff's Sixth Law

If you're analyzing what you're eating, that means you're not eating something truly great.

I once mapped out a surprisingly non-ditzy system for rating food on a scale of one to ten. At "9", I wrote, "rational thought breaks down. You don't analyze, you just want to keep enjoying, blocking out all distraction."

As you ascend the heady realm between "9" and "10", it becomes logarithmically more difficult to analyze, describe, and discuss what you're experiencing. In fact, the very best thing I've ever eaten (which I rated an "11") left me completely catatonic and blanked out.

The same applies, of course, to any aesthetic experience.

Fwiw, here are my other laws


Tom Meg said...

So true. If I find myself at a concert registering a musician's beautiful tone or chops or interesting interpretation, that generally means I wasn't blown away. The great performances don't even sound like music to me, just pure beauty/love/energy/meaning (sounds really foo foo but it's beyond normal words I guess).

Jim Leff said...

I know. All the worthy insights boil down to cliches, and all the really great ones just sound like mush.

How about this, though: The very greatest art is utterly transparent.

Going back to food and wine, I've noticed that some of the greatest wines of the last century (which I'm lucky to have tasted, thanks to a collector friend) actually remind you of water. Not that they're dilute or insipid. They just have the utter transparency of water.

Same for really really great whiskies, etc etc. My mind keeps returning to water

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