A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "originality"
Jul 18, 2014
Everything has already been said and done. But, then, if this is so, why do we need more poems in the world? I once read a Jane Hirshfield interview where she said something quite wonderful. She essentially said we have to keep writing because it’s every generation’s job to put in the present vernacular poems that are called upon for rites of passage, such as poems read at weddings or funerals. I hadn’t thought of this before. Your ordinary citizen should be able to go to the library and find a poem written in the current vernacular, and the responsibility for every generation of writers is to make this possible. We must, then, rewrite everything that has ever been written in the current vernacular, which is really what the evolution of literature is all about. Nothing new gets said but the vernacular keeps changing.
Apr 29, 2014
Calvin and Hobbes on popular art
Who likes originality & Truth?! Nobody! Life’s hard enough without it! Only an idiot would pay for it!
from The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
Apr 20, 2014
I now wonder where the idea or of the ideology of creativity started. Shakespeare and company certainly stole from, copied each other’s writings. Before them, the Greeks didn’t both making up any new stories. I suspect that the ideology of creativity started when the bourgeoisie—when they rose up in all their splendor, as the history books put it—made a capitalistic marketplace for books. Today a writer earns money or a living by selling copyright, ownership to words. We all do, we writers, this scam, because we need to earn money, only most don’t admit it’s a scam. Nobody really owns nothing.
— Kathy Acker
) (from her very-hard-to-find-online 1989 article, “A Few Notes on Two of My Books,” published in the Review of Contemporary Fiction
Jan 15, 2014
I’m just sort of trying to find a place to pound my nails… It seems like there’s a board there and all the nails are pounded in all over the place, you know, and every new person that comes to pound in a nail finds that there’s one less space, you know… I’m content with the same old piece of wood, I just want to find another place to pound in a nail.
Dec 02, 2013
Any claim I might make to originality in my fiction is really just the result of [my] odd background: basically, just me working inefficiently, with flawed tools, in a mode I don’t have sufficient background to really understand. Like if you put a welder to designing dresses.
Jun 15, 2013
I seem almost a plagiarist. [I quote a lot because I’m] just trying to be honorable and not to steal things. I’ve always felt that if a thing had been said in the best way, how can you say it better? If I wanted to say something and somebody had said it ideally, then I’d take it but give the person credit for it. That’s all there is to it. If you are charmed by an author, I think it’s a very strange and invalid imagination that doesn’t long to share it. Somebody else should read it, don’t you think?
Ivan Brunetti, Aesthetics: A Memoir
Brunetti’s an interesting guy. I love the spirit of the introduction—his humility and his contentment with just being one small member in a tribe of craftsmen…
I am aware that there is no originality in my work, that pretty much all I am doing essentially is making my own version of Peanuts (crossed with Robert Crumb) and a vastly, hopelessly inferior one at that….No matter. I am happy to be a subatomic particle whizzing around inside the seemingly infinite ocean of cartooning.
…and the the book trailer…
As a teacher, I like to encourage my students to explore their own past and explore the things that shaped them. And from there, I think you can use that as raw material for whatever [else] you want to explore. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of where they came from or the things that aesthetically shaped them….
I’m sure people will look at my drawing style and think, “That’s pretty simple. I can do that.” And actually, I think that’s good. That’s what I want people to say. Hopefully it will inspire someone to feel like they can do it and that they can take whatever limited ability or limited means…even just using the cheapest materials. […] The hardest thing for most people is simply getting started. That’s my hope [for this book] really: that people will look through it and just feel inspired to make something of their own and start valuing whatever it is they make.
If you haven’t read his book, Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice, it’s $10, and probably the best guide to cartooning ever written.
Apr 16, 2013
» The Helsinki Bus Station Theory
Photographer Arno Minkkinen on how creativity is like a bus station:
There are two dozen platforms, Minkkinen explains, from each of which several different bus lines depart. Thereafter, for a kilometre or more, all the lines leaving from any one platform take the same route out of the city, making identical stops. “Each bus stop represents one year in the life of a photographer,” Minkkinen says. You pick a career direction – maybe you focus on making platinum prints of nudes – and set off. Three stops later, you’ve got a nascent body of work. “You take those three years of work on the nude to [a gallery], and the curator asks if you are familiar with the nudes of Irving Penn.” Penn’s bus, it turns out, was on the same route. Annoyed to have been following someone else’s path, “you hop off the bus, grab a cab… and head straight back to the bus station, looking for another platform”. Three years later, something similar happens. “This goes on all your creative life: always showing new work, always being compared to others.” What’s the answer? “It’s simple. Stay on the bus. Stay on the fucking bus.”
As Oliver Burkeman explains, “if you pursue originality too vigorously, you’ll never reach it. Sometimes it takes more guts to keep trudging down a pre-trodden path, to the originality beyond.”
Filed under: originality
Mar 15, 2013
Don’t get it original, get it right.
— Edward Tufte
Jan 30, 2013
I used to want to make poems as though poetry or even speech hadn’t existed before me. Now I work at the other end of the spectrum, making poems mostly out of what already exists, and somehow finding that fresher. More mysterious.
— Peter Cole, from “The Invention of Influence: A Notebook,” in Poetry
. (via ecantwell
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