Post #1160 • April 18, 2008, 2:02 PM • 61 Comments
Henry Miller, from The Waters Reglitterized:
But one of the moments I like best, after doing what I imagine to be my utmost, is the realization that it won't do at all. I decide to convert the quiet, static picture in front of me into a live, careless, free and easy thing. I strike out boldly with whatever comes to hand - pencil, crayon, brush, charcoal, ink - anything which will demolish the studied effect obtained and give me fresh ground for experiment. I used to think that the striking results obtained in this fashion were due to accident, but I no longer am of this mind. Not only do I know today that it is the method employed by some very famous painters (Rouault immediately comes to mind), but, I recognize that it is often the same method which I employ in writing. I don't go over my canvas, in writing, like the meticulous Frænkel does with his drafts, but I keep breaking new ground until I reach the level of exact expression, leaving all the trials and gropings there, but raising them in a sort of spiral circumnavigation, until they make a solid under-body or under-pinning, whichever the case may be. And this, I notice, is precisely the ritual of life which is practiced by the man who evolves. He doesn't go back, figuratively, to correct his errors and defects: he transposes and converts them into virtues. He makes wings of his larval cerements.