Saturday, 28 November 2015

Exquisite Loneliness

Would a bureaucrat give up his wealth, an attractive lover and a fine house to look for the maker of a beautiful object? To sacrifice himself for a vase? To stare into the kiln, and watch as the fire makes it… It is the final scene; one that suggests the allusiveness of the artistic spirit.

Artists. What makes them so odd, so different?

A few details might help us.

Jang Seung-up - known as Ohwon - is a real life genius.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

A Young Poet Takes His Exam

Sentimentality is the great danger to art. It replaces the complex flow of feeling with an idea that being too simple is static and vapid. Ideas must be alive. In philosophy vitality comes from insight and argument; which can enliven even the clumsiest of prose styles. With art it is more indirect; ideas live in concrete forms - in characters, in situations, in the overall pattern of a poem or play - and they gain their vitality from the indirectness and vagueness of their presentation: the more we have to undress the character to see the idea underneath the stronger we will feel it. The risk is always that the artist will be a dealer in secondhand ideas; ones acquired without thought or analytic penetration. Great and original thought is thought itself, not the ideas it generates; the outcome less important than the process. Think of a great thinker. Think of David Hume. The arguments between his full stops the flower pots where I grow my own roses and weeds.1 

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Out there, where the frontiers end, roads are erased. Where silence begins. I go forward slowly and I people the night with stars, with speech, with the breathing of distant water waiting for me where the dawn appears.

I invent evening, night, the next day rising from its bed of stone, the clear eyes of that day running across a world painfully dreamt. I sustain tree, cloud, rock, sea, the joy foreseen, inventions that vanish and hesitate before the light dispersed.

And then, the arid mountain, the adobe village, acute small reality of a puddle and one stolid peppertree, of some idiot children who stone me, a rancorous people which denounces me. I invent terror, hope, noon - father of solar frenzy, of glittering fallacies, of women who castrate their men of the hour.