Wednesday, March 29, 2006

:: adgruntie :: Inspiration

+ Guardian Arts has an article from a couple weeks ago titled "Divine Inpsiration". Here's the overview:
It's the vital ingredient of creativity, but what exactly is this thing called inspiration? Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips seeks its source while diverse artists from all fields reveal how the muse strikes them.
And here are two excerpts from the article:
Just as you can't try and have a dream, or decide beforehand what it will be, inspired work, whatever its prehistory of crisis or trauma, can seem to just happen. When Keats wrote that poetry must come as easily as leaves to a tree, or Picasso said, 'I don't seek, I find', they were both as post-Romantic artists reminding us, and presumably themselves, that inspiration is beyond the realm of calculated intentions. It happens unannounced, more like bursting out laughing or making a Freudian slip than a quest or an ordeal. It is an affront to our guilty selves for good things to come easily; and it is an affront to our sovereign selves that good things might come in spite of us and not because of us. That what matters most to us is quite beyond us.

[snip ]

We need to be receptive to the unfamiliar; and we need to be able to wait, without certainty, for the thing we want. This, in a sense, is the faith of the believer in artistic inspiration. It is perhaps not surprising that the wish to fake it or the wish to dispense with it altogether is so pervasive. It is difficult to get our minds round something that is so unlike a commodity and, in actuality, so unlike a religion. There are, of course, superstitions around inspiration, and probably all artists have their own; but there are no dogmas about inspiration except that it is required for work of the highest value. And there are no laws, natural or otherwise, of inspiration, except the ironic law that it is mostly unpredictable. And there are no experts who can teach it, though there are people who can teach us how to recognise it.

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