Sunday, July 12, 2015

Edgewater 8

Pause and Recapitulation

Maybe story telling needs to engage the reader. Every story needs a logical arc (beginning, rising action, conflict, resolution and a conclusion). How do you reconcile accounts of factual tidbits and poetic license? The truth is stranger than fiction, yet a credible story cannot be accurately offered by one still living his or her life. (Not by me anyway.) What needs to happen, perhaps, to make things interesting is an artistic interpretation. Consider a tapestry, or better still a collage, or maybe an abstraction of sorts. Resisting the urge to wallow in second-guessing the reasoning of the craft and compositional strategy, Jackson Pollock had no trouble dripping paint onto a canvas on the floor. Maybe it is up to the critic to determine meaning and value. Clement Greenberg is such a critic -- best remembered for his promotion of abstract expressionism and among the first to praise the work of Pollock.

All literature and art and history ultimately intertwine. Insignificant as a single being is in the universe it seems expedient to only glance. In the room the women come and go speaking of Michelangelo (T.S.Elliot). Let the lamp affix its beam. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. (Wallace Stevens) The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep,  And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep (Robert Frost).

The ephemeral nature of being is belied as a single day seems to take an eternity. Surely time spent waiting for a bus deserves a level of quality too. A single person in pedestrian traffic crowding into a subway car has comparable value to any other spec of a human on the planet. Well then, the folly of my obsession to tell a story awaits critic, context and/or interpretation. So be it. I do not create for critical or popular acclaim.

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