TECHNIQUE v. SPONTANEITY IN THE ARTS

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There is a dangerous half-truth that has always haunted the practice and the appreciation of the arts: too much technique will inhibit creativity. Despite constant evidence that too little technique will inhibit it worse, the idea never quite dies, because it is politically too attractive. Young women are usually less susceptible, but young men are often pleased to think their creative activities would flourish best if they could spend more time getting up late in the morning and taking a longer nap during the afternoon. Hence the continuing popularity of Blake’s emphasis on just letting art happen, without too much sweat.” Clive James, Poetry Notebook, Reflections on the Language of Intensity

My current read: a thoughtful book delivered with the characteristic taste, wit and insight of Clive James, Australian cultural critic, poet, lyricist, memoirist and essayist.  The book is a collection of essays and “interludes” on poetry, poets, practice and technique.

Included in Clive James’ impressive opus are books of poetry: Poem of the Year (verse diary) and a collection of four mock-heroic poems, The Fate of Feisty Fark in the Land of Media: a moral poem and other collections.

Time with Clive James is always time well spent.

RELATED:

Clive James.com

Bill Moyes talks with cultural critic, Clive James

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