Embrace your demons, learn their names January 28, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in art, books, literature.
Tags: Stephen Elliott, TheRumpus.net
Art is expression, art is laziness. Art is a rejection of capitalism. Lay on the couch, reflect on your experience, your feelings about the world, wait for a flicker of emotion, a ripple along the surface. Reproduce your inner life on a canvas, in a poem, a looping narrative. Redirect your angst into a play. It fails when you don’t go deep enough, when you think what you’re saying is inherently interesting, when you think your audience is your mom. But it’s still art. Art is intent. Art is narcissistic, you have to believe you have something to say, though we’re all so similar. I remember a story of two boys determined to drink a beer with Bukowski, staring through the window to his crappy apartment as he tossed and turned for days without writing a line. Art is the opposite of going to work, [you] have to embrace your demons, learn their names. If you’re absurdly lucky you can make a living off it, which is like winning the lottery, which is like being paid for being alive.
– Stephen Elliott from today’s Rumpus Email.