True Artists are Troubled People

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popovic
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby popovic » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:46 am

It's been my experience that, if you dig deep enough, there isn't a single person out there who's 'balanced'. The more you dig in a person's head, the stranger you'll find the inner workings. Writers are just better at turning that dark matter into pictures for others to see. But I'm more convinced than ever that EVERYONE has a freak flag; some have just woven theirs into the latest trendy ties, so it's harder to spot.

And, that's not a bad thing. It's what makes talking to each other something worth pursuing.

As for mental health issues, there are millions out there with straying neurons. Some of them are likely to be writers. Others will be living in cardboard boxes under the bridge and the rest are somewhere in between. If there are millions out there with mental health issues, there's a good bet every profession's gonna have a handful. So take a good look at your congress; at least one should be on medication. Wanna have some fun and take some guesses?

We are all, as a whole and as individuals, strange creatures. Find the one in your life you think isn't, and know this: you didn't dig deep enough.

Isn't it grand?

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raymondstary
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby raymondstary » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:56 am

Susan - 2009-11-10 10:29 AM

A writer crafts a story using the techniques of fiction. A literary artist crafts a story that illustrates a theme and moral that deeply troubles them in some way. A writer may simply want to entertain his or her readers. An artist wants to connect with his or her readers in a kind of psychological union.

It seems to me the above is another broad generalization. I think all writers want to connect with their readers in a certain way- writers want to please readers, they want their work to sell.  I have no doubt that people like Dan Brown, Stephen King, etc. simply know how to craft a story that sells. They are talented story tellers and writers. I doubt they sit around thinking about all that troubles them and how to they can connect with their readers through these troubles.

As for your statement on theme and moral- I think you had a prior posting on this.  The reader assigns theme and moral to the story, not the writer. 

As for Cell- I love Stephen King, but that was a horrible book. It was just a horror story with a lot of gratuitous gross stuff in it. Why? Because he knew he could get away with it- anyting Stephen King writes sells.  I think he was intentionally pushing the limits on this one, perhaps not even thinking about the impact of cell phones.  Of course, I don't know- he does though. Would be a great question to ask him. :)


The writer may not be aware of the theme consciously, but if he doesn't instill one, it doesn't exist.

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Gordon Jerome
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby Gordon Jerome » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:06 am

But I'm more convinced than ever that EVERYONE has a freak flag; some have just woven theirs into the latest trendy ties, so it's harder to spot.

That's a good point, Popovic.

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GrinningBear
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby GrinningBear » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:29 am

jrtomlin - 2009-11-08 9:57 PM In fact, I'd say the opposite. Succeeding as an artist of any kind takes immense concentration and determination. Writing novels takes the ability to stick with the same project for months. It takes the ability to survive rejection after rejection. Someone who is unbalanced is unlikely to have any of these characteristics.

No. The underlined is as broad (and inaccurate) a generalization as the original comment. People with bipolar, schizophrenia, and the like are intelligent and creative nearly to a fault. Not everyone, of course, but studies indicate the percentage is extremely high.

People messed up from trauma--war, abuse, molestation, eating Taco Bell--retain their intellect and abilities. They just fight through other things. In that category, people who actually put forth the effort to begin a hobby or develop a skill tend to stick with it. It's just getting started that is the problem. 

That aside, I don't necessarily agree that most writers or artists are troubled. Conversely, I do believe that most troubled people find expression and release in some form of art or another, so the percentage is a high one in that category.

Many of history's most successful writers (and brilliant criminals) were unbalanced or troubled. That's not even counting the drunks.

Moderately related thought: it has always been a fervently held belief that the most gifted artists were never discovered. The most gifted painter lost everything in a house fire and never told anyone because he didn't think he was all that good, anyway. The best guitar player in the world is sitting in a smoky club somewhere down south, picking away like Curtis Low. The best writer has volumes and volumes in leather-bound diaries that were shipped to storage when her grandchildren cleaned out the house after their death.

Or they died from the Spanish flu. Or killed by Mongol hordes. Or were written off by ignorant teachers and ended up withering away in a cubicle.

Or quit because they were troubled and troubled people quit.

But what do I know? I'm troubled. 


lrkilian
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby lrkilian » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:06 am

i agree with MG on the genius point... very well stated friend!

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Gordon Jerome
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby Gordon Jerome » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:49 am

Moderately related thought: it has always been a fervently held belief that the most gifted artists were never discovered. The most gifted painter lost everything in a house fire and never told anyone because he didn't think he was all that good, anyway. The best guitar player in the world is sitting in a smoky club somewhere down south, picking away like Curtis Low. The best writer has volumes and volumes in leather-bound diaries that were shipped to storage when her grandchildren cleaned out the house after their death.

Or they died from the Spanish flu. Or killed by Mongol hordes. Or were written off by ignorant teachers and ended up withering away in a cubicle.

Or quit because they were troubled and troubled people quit.

But what do I know? I'm troubled.


You know, that's a profound belief. It really has me thinking, and I wonder if it's true. Thank you for sharing that.

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Susan
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby Susan » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:01 am

Gordon Jerome - 2009-11-10 10:06 AM But I'm more convinced than ever that EVERYONE has a freak flag; some have just woven theirs into the latest trendy ties, so it's harder to spot. That's a good point, Popovic.

Agree, agree. :)


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Susan
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby Susan » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:03 am

By the way, Gordon, I think you have started an interesting and excellent discussion. :)

Talis1
 
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RE: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby Talis1 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:49 am

I'm not a fan of the word--or the label--"artist" when used to speak about writers. I think far too often, it's used to promote a sense of elitism. I saw it in my English Lit courses in university, particularly my creative writing course, when genre fiction was dismissed as not good enough or too commercial or having no meaning. It's no less difficult to write a genre novel than it is a literary one. The elements of the craft don't differ.

Are there true literary artists? Hell, yes. But I don't think many of them, in their heyday, promoted themselves as literary artists but rather as writers. History has made that distinction.


Fleurdelis
 
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Re: True Artists are Troubled People

Postby Fleurdelis » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:22 am

Talis,

I couldn't agree more. I read the "literary" stuff more than anything else. I've also read a lot of mainstream stuff. I want to take your statement a little further and add that do not find the literary stuff to be more substantial. I prefer the literary stuff because it is more of a mental challenge, like doing a crossword puzzle. You read it and you get it and you feel clever. I find my literary tastes to be more than a little masturbatory. Probably the biggest motivating factor in my finishing Foucault's Pendulum was to have the badge of honor of having read it.

It's funny because I'm the complete opposite with television. My taste in television has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. The Flavor of Love shows were the best thing that has happened in television, IMHO. Real Housewives? More, please!

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