the exhaustion of the will can come to anyone
In Justin McGuirk’s new Guardian On Design blog, he writes in relation to a scathing review of designer Ron Arad’s retrospective at the Barbican:
“Unless you die young, it’s difficult to be a hero for ever. Heroes are commercialised. They succumb to what Norman Mailer called ‘exhaustion of the will’. Or they simply go out of fashion.”
A quick Google search reveals at least one instance of the phrase in a 1955 interview with Mailer by Lyle Stuart.
Mailer, Stuart, and McGuirk are all using this phrase in relation to the individual, but it seems to me equally applicable, if not more so, to upstart institutions, which inevitably, it seems, for a whole host of reasons, too often focus more on what they have done in the past, often successfully, than their motivating mission. When and how does a vision with unknown consequences that draws one along become a track that is pushing one forward?