multum in parvo

The phrase multum in parvo has always had a special significance for me. In its terse and compact Latin diction, it exemplifies exactly what it connotes: much in little. The archetype of brevity, however, is not easy to define. Abstraction, conciseness, symbolism, and imaginative potential are basic in the concept. A multiplicity of detail is concentrated into a unified principle, the particular is transformed into the universal, a largeness of meaning is conveyed with the utmost economy of means. This largeness of meaning should be accomplished by a dramatic impact, in a word: insight with a gasp.

—Carl Zigrosser, Multum In Parvo (George Braziller, 1965)

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