To write as Auping does is perfectly reasonable in view of the sheer difficulty of finding anything really susceptible to being written about. As Susan Sontag remarks, ‘the thoughtful – as distinct from the inarticulate – may have good reason to be wary, anxious, at a loss (for words).’ She endorses Valéry’s obiter dicta, ‘One must always apologise for talking about painting,’ and: ‘A work of art, if it does not leave us mute, is of little value.’
Obiter dictum (more usually used in the plural, obiter dicta) is Latin for a word said "by the way", that is, a remark in a judgment that is "said in passing". It is a concept derived from English common law, whereby a judgment comprises only two elements: ratio decidendi and obiter dicta. For the purposes of judicial precedent, ratio decidendi is binding, whereas obiter dicta are persuasive only.
傍論（ぼうろん、羅：Obiter dictum、オビタ・ディクタム）とは、英米法の概念で、判決文の中の判決理由において示された裁判所（裁判官）の意見の内、判決の主文の直接の理由であって判例法としての法的拘束力が認められる判決理由の核心部分（羅：ratio decidendi、レイシオ・デシデンダイ）に、含まれない部分。