From Dion DiMucci, on NPR’s Fresh Air (12/29/07, if you want to hear the whole thing), talking about the “coffee-colored Cadillac” in the classic song “Nadine”: “I never saw one of those. But I can see it now.”

And isn’t that a great definition of art’s function. I didn’t see that — Alice climbing through a mirror; the monstrous Judge, naked, dancing; Smilla’s big, almost weightless crystals — but I can see it now.