Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Uncomfortable Mind of an Artist

It can sometimes seem as though would-be artists (including writers) cultivate chaos, doubt, and drama in their own lives because they think that therein lies the path to true creativity, or because they think it is glamorous to be a "suffering artist." I have not always been as understanding of these people as perhaps I should be.

Alison has recently started a series of articles for SDMW about how the pursuit of beauty (something she sees as the activity of all artists) is both alluring and crushing. It is one way in which natural law asserts itself and raises the great questions of human existence. There is a lot of food for thought in what she says. Her second article, in particular, helped me to see the struggling, chaotic, searching, artistic-type in a new light.

I recommend that you read both "Order, Beauty, and the Urge to Create" and also "Science, Beauty, and the Law that Kills."

On a related note, When Every Day is Judgement Day is another article by a different author (who comes from what seems to be a mainstream secular perspective) on a related topic. I was fascinated by her characterization of perfectionism as an attempt to drive a (futile and crippling) bargain with fate.

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