Tim Hinck's thoughts on music and life- There is a lady living across the street from me. She is dying of cancer. I have never seen anyone so full of life and energy. She loves to work outside in the flowers and grass of her yard. I can see her savoring every sunny day... the way she stands up from planting a flower bulb with such satisfaction on her face and claps the dirt from her gloves with resolution. I want to be like that lady.

Location: Schalkwijk, Utrecht, Netherlands

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stories that Write Themselves

You will hear lots of gossip about stories that write themselves. What is this all about? How is it that a bunch of words can get so out of hand as to start writing themselves?

"Easily", you say. "A good story is one that progresses so naturally from its opening through its katharsis and conclusion that even an uninspired dolt could scratch its details onto paper."

My mind wanders as you say this, and I imagine some guy sitting in the back corner of a bar chasing one thick, black coffee with another desperately scribbling like some scribe in the service of his ruthless kaiser: the Honorable Great Twenty-First Century Novel... every line dictating the next as if written in stone and sealed with royal-edict certainty or gospel truth. I can't imagine a thing more frighful and ugly than this. What if our poor friend the scribe should revolt? What if he should sit back and have a cigar and decide to change Chapter 2. His hero is about to witness the savage beating of a young boy on a crowded street in Bogota after bumping into a pair of jumpy, green-clad policemen. This should have quite an impact on the hero, what with his own childhood memories of abuse. But instead of sending his hero to the rescue, our scribe decides to turn his hero around, march him into the nearest pub, give him too many drinks, and send him home to beat on his own son in a drunken rage.

"AH-HA!" you interupt me. "But the scribe is still submiting to the Story-Kaiser. The story itself deservs credit for presenting the possibilities for each of these brilliant deviations."

How terrible! What an awful thought! To be an artist is to be a slave to the muse. Are we all merely pawns who exist solely to construct a world that Art can inhabit and imbody? Instead of decorating our world with art, you are suggesting a world in which Art would direct our processes and, in turn, 'decorate' us. What of my authorship?

You shake your head, "Friend, it is indeed more about YOU than you will ever know. It is about reshaping YOU through art."


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