Statement of Philosophy

A site for exploration and discussion about verse, poetics, the aesthetic, and creative writing in general.

Because there is a profound difference between writing something to be read and writing something worth reading; and in that difference might beauty be found.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Aphorisms on the Creative Endeavor I

– Fixed the link to the page on the site that broke along the way, June 9, 2016


I have a page on my site (here) where I used to occasionally (perhaps I should say infrequently) put down short aphorisms about aesthetic writing. With my wanting to integrate this blog more with my writing, I realized the opportunity to use this to build on that. Thus, we have here the first page of additions to that list.

The numbering starts here at '21' to coincide with the numbering on that page.


    The difference between "poetry" and "prose" as types of form is irrelevant to the creative process. If you begin by thinking one or the other, you have already limited your creating. Indeed, they are terms that are applied most accurately only with the least creative works. That is to say, they are only genres, and the creative endeavor is the opposite of the replication and reinforcement of genres.



    If you are going to use paragraphs in your writing, then those paragraphs should have a purpose. A paragraph is a unit of form — you cannot pretend it otherwise. Poor attention to paragraphs makes for poor creating and poorer reading. You throwing the burden of organization upon the reader, declaring yourself to the public too lazy to be bothered with it yourself, and your work too addlepated to know the difference.

    So also with line breaks and stanzas.



    A synechdocic analogy ― Visual shape as a purpose unto itself may be the least of all justifications of line and stanza breaks. It is rare that such making will merit any more than a patronizing "how clever of you!" As such, a writer should take no pride in it, if not question its value at every step.

    Yes visual shape can be integral to the ideation of the work. But mastery of such is a treacherous journey, frought with triviality to the left and gimmickry to the right. Let your guide be the philosophy of the sherpas: if there is any doubt, then do not put your weight on it. Better yet, stay off that mountain until someone who has climbed it declares you fit enough. A climber tangled in their ropes makes only for laughter.

    Though, among fellow climbers, a laughter of sympathetic and shared joy!



    With aesthetic writing, every element of the text should serve the purpose of creating as great an experience for the reader as the text can permit — as great a creative experience for the reader, for the creative engagement that results in the aesthetic object results also in a creative engagement for the reader. Such development is measured both across the shorter time of the making of the text and the longer time of the individual's life.

    And how can that rule be applied to writing if it is not first applied to the self?!



    Just because a writer is popular does not mean their writing is good. Something readily mouthed, but infrequently acted upon.

    Of course, that does not mean that popular writers have nothing to teach. After all, even the newcome climber on their first steps needs a something to overcome.


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