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October 2017: Pushing The Envelope

You can say that someone has tried, without necessarily turning their back on tradition, or tearing up the rule book and starting all over, to find ways to transcend limitations – either their own or those of their chosen field, or genre. Or you can use an excellent idiomatic expression and just say they're pushing the envelope. The most interesting artists always push the envelope in some way. I should add, though, that I think we're sometimes too ready to expect or demand something which is actually quite rare, namely originality; and we sometimes overrate iconoclasts at the expense of good solid craftsmen who have successful careers and give pleasure to many.

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