its a single soul dwelling in two bodies” —Aristotle (via beautiful-quotes)
[The theatre director and actor] Paul [Lazar] also said to me, ‘You know, there’s no guarantee of making a good living, moneywise, in [the art] world, so if that’s what you want—you know, monetary success, if that’s where the value lies—maybe you made a wrong choice quite a few years ago.
I was at the Obie Awards the other night, and I had the same feeling. These people were winning awards, some of them were known but really most of them, unless you’re in the theatre world…are unknown, and they’ve been working, a lot of them, for years and years, decades sometimes, and have these incredibly satisfying lives doing what it is that they love to do. I don’t know all their financial circumstances…I think for some of you that’s gotta be really scary right now.
Well, this is really what matters, that’s really what matters, and it’s something that’s not reflected in these pie charts or graphs. And that’s where these graphs and pie charts lead us astray. They give us kind of false values, and make us think that we have to grade everything according to this criteria, which is not true. The decision is yours, ours—whatever. And I believe that there is a way to have a very, very satisfying, enriching and creative life in the arts, but it depends on what criteria you use to look at that. But I would say that if you’re being creative, with happiness, satisfaction, all that—you’re succeeding. That’s it for me.” —
David Byrne’s commencement address at Columbia’s School of the Arts got the short end of the media coverage stick, dubbed a “downer” by some and a “disappointment” by others. But such reactions seem to be missing Byrne’s Allan Wattsian point – rather than telling graduating seniors not to enter the arts, the heart of Byrne’s message seems to be that this is a new creative landscape in which we should aim to find our own purpose, define our own success, and not succumb to the cult of money as the measure of fulfilling work.
Complement with this season’s other notable commencement addresses: Debbie Millman on courage and the creative life, Greil Marcus on “high” and “low” culture, Arianna Huffington on success, Joss Whedon on embracing our inner contradictions, Oprah Winfrey on failure and finding your purpose, and Judith Butler on the value of reading and the humanities.
Also see David Byrne on how creativity works.
I’ve always said there are – to oversimplify it – two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. In my Hollywood years when everything does work on outlines, I had to put on my architect’s clothes and pretend to be an architect. But my natural inclinations, the way I work, is to give my characters the head and to follow them.
That being said, I do know where I’m going. I do have the broad outlines of the story worked out in my head, but that’s not to say I know all the small details and every twist and turn in the road that will get me there.” —
A conversation with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. Pair with Susan Sontag on the 4 people a great writer must be, then wash down with the collected wisdom of great writers on writing.
We must strike down the insidious lie that a book is the creation of an individual soul labouring in isolation. We must strike it down because it threatens the overall quality and breadth of American literature.
I’m in the book business, the idea-sharing, consciousness-expanding, storytelling business,” said the novelist. “And I am not going to get out of that business. So fuck Ayn Rand and fuck any company that profits from peddling the lie of mere individualism. We built this together and we’re going to keep building it together.” —
John Green on why he’ll never self-publish.explore-blog)