Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Character's Words of Wisdom

In his short story, "Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity," David Morrell has a painter who is driven mad. But before he goes mad, while he's struggling to find his own vision, he records in his journal the following words:

"Need to free myself of convention. Need to void myself of aesthete politics, need to shit it out of me. To find what's never been painted. To feel instead of being told what to feel. To see instead of imitating what others have seen."

Good advice for any creative artist. Important, and damn near impossible. Also scary as all hell. I'd like to do this, but the courage is hard to come by. And the strength. And always I wonder. Maybe I just couldn't, even if I had the courage and the strength. Because after those come talent.


Anonymous said...

It seems like the artist could have gone mad trying to find that orignal painting that he was seeking. What if, after you shit it all out, there's just more shit.

Susan Miller said...

There was a quote but it escapes me now, and I'm seriously too lazy to look it up. The crux of it (although if I read it today I may actually derive something else from it) is that we all imitate. We all find artists that we love and cannot hide their influence in our own work. They speak through us in so many ways. And I believe this to be true if we are honestly writing from who we are then they as great artists have affected that and thus affected our own art.

But then there is us. The us that nobody else can duplicate. That is where you write from.

Lastly, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about but it was fun, nonetheless.

Keep up the great work, Charles. I'm seriously going to get to your book soon. I can't wait!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jack, I thought it was going that way but the ending was actually a twist. Good point about, what if there's more shit.

Susan, I pretty much agree, the more creative you are means that you've just filtered your influences more and digested them more. Hope you like the book.

JR's Thumbprints said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JR's Thumbprints said...

I've sometimes wondered if perhaps I'm trying too hard when I write a short story, that maybe things seem forced. So I try not to try too hard, and every thing turns to shit. Bottom line: without talent, you gotta try harder; with talent, you don't. (Had to delete and rewrite this to see if it made sense.)

Charles Gramlich said...

JR, at least you konw enough to rewrite. That's talent enough, I'd say.

Lucas Pederson said...

Great passage. I'm goin to have to read this book!
IT is scary. I'm not sure if I got talent enough to even know what the hell I'm writing half the time. All I know is that it's fun.

Drizel said...

we all need to do what we need to do.....creativity is within us all, we just need to calmly tap into in and use the pools....says the girl that is packing verything to move to London..whahahaha;)

Michelle's Spell said...


That's an excellent point. Scary as hell, that's for sure. It's a high bar, but what's the point of a low one?