Posted by W.Kenneth Thompson on December 18, 1998 at 13:38:59:
In many countries there is a belief that creating a perfect work of art is an unpardonable act of hubris. It invites either divine retribution or, worse, the evil eye. We have a 17th Century Spanish carpet that has an intentional mistake allegedly included just for that purpose. And in her (1976?) book on Turkish Kilims,Belkis Acar points out that among Turks and Turkmen weavers deliberate mistakes, along with blue beads--nazar bocugu--for supplementary protection, were added to keep off the evil eye. (The "nazar degmesin diye" factor.) Anyone who has lived in Turkey or in an Arab country knows that it is a powerful factor in life. And not one to be scoffed at. Since the more skilled you are the greater the danger you run, it should not be surprising to find a flaw or two in an otherwise impeccable piece. It is a very basic form of professional life insurance.
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