I WAS AT the Met on a snowy afternoon and came upon a warren of shelves and glass cabinets, a place

of left-oeuvres - prop storage/ study collection. Among these were no grand proper nouns, but many inconsequential generics languished moodily waiting to be picked up and arranged, deliberately placed, so they could squirt out their sentences proudly, in good company, with generous margins one more time. Here the works were cheek by jowl. The lighting was not flattering and many were lost in reflection. But it was their duty to endure these humiliations. It was the price of the honor of belonging to the Met.

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