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  •  No, what I meant was (3+ / 0-)
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    suka, Brecht, RiveroftheWest

    the norm for successful artists is the huge ego.

    Well, combined with the drive to achieve great art: that's hugely important also.

    Driven artists: and all great ones are driven, have no doubt: are driven by some great heartbreak or other trauma in their lives. Probably there's an exception in a couple of cases, but...this generalization is generally true.

    It takes a lot of trauma to create a Van Gogh, or a Picasso.

    Ya know?

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 01:22:50 AM PST

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    •  A lot of great art comes out of neuroses, trauma & (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Youffraita

      heartbreak - but I don't think those are the engines of art. After all, there are a couple billion broken or damaged souls on earth, and most of them won't produce exceptional art.

      The drive comes more from that huge ego, the hunger to carve their visions across the face of eternity. Deep nightmares can feed into those visions - but for the absolute artist, every speck of their personality and their past will feed into those visions. The consume all they ever touched, and transform it into art.

      But Jung may have disagreed with me, when he said the place you've been most wounded is the place where you have the most to give.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:56:14 PM PST

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      •  I remember something (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, suka, RiveroftheWest, poco

        it was maybe a movie or maybe a book: too long ago to even know how to Google it.

        But someone said something (about having a normal middle-class life or something like that) and....

        (drum roll)

        The other person said, "You must have had a wonderful childhood" (or something like that) and

        I thought: there, that's it: that's the filmmaker or writer pointing out the essential hurt that drives the artist.

        Because -- make no mistake about this -- all true artists are indeed driven to create. They can't NOT.

        That huge ego, btw, is a method of self preservation. Do you know how difficult it is to succeed as a dramatist? An artist? A writer? If you don't have a huge ego, you will fold in the face of all the negativity and the years of failure.

        I am not making this up.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:33:24 AM PST

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    •  Speaking of trauma feeding into art, and of Austen (4+ / 0-)
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      Youffraita, suka, RiveroftheWest, poco
      Jane Austen employs a very psychological approach, though  whether this explains her enduring popularity in its entirety, can be substantiated and plausibly considered the subtext that elevates and distinguishes her work. She seems to be one of those who  transmuted her suffering into art. A case for this was made in 1940 by D.W. Harding in F.R. Leavis’s literary magazine, Scrutiny. His essay was entitled: “Regulated hatred: An aspect of the work of Jane Austen.” Harding argued that far from being a calmly reassuring writer, Austen offers uncomfortable insights into society, and that her novels enabled her to attain “some mode of existence for her critical attitudes.”…

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 08:24:50 PM PST

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      •  Well, I certainly agree that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, suka, RiveroftheWest, poco

        "Austen offers uncomfortable insights into society" and would argue that that's why we still love her: it might be centuries later, but human nature hasn't changed during those centuries, has it? Not so far as I can see!

        As for the rest of that quote, I'd have to read the whole thing and consider it in context, but for right now, I'm thinking hooey  except for the part where, yes, of course she's doing psychological drama. Yes, of course, that's why we still read her and love her. See my first graph, above:

        Human nature hasn't changed, and she is the past master of depicting it in prose so pointed it's a stiletto.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:44:41 AM PST

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        •  I've been reading articles on the internet, some (5+ / 0-)

          very interesting, about D. W. Harding's influential essay.

          Harding himself admitted that his was a biased view of Austen. But when it came out in 1940, it was the bias that everyone had been missing: everyone was seeing Austen as this polite, diffident spinster. Austen's reputation was given a huge push in this kinder, gentler direction by her nephew:

          Austen’s posthumous fate took a dramatic turn for the better after her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, published his idealistic A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which emphasized Austen’s feminine contentment and propriety, her modesty about her writing, and her prioritization of domestic duties. Austen-Leigh’s book was a smashing success and ignited the first wave of what we would now call Austen mania. Claire Harmon, in Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, has argued that the memoir provided potential fans with a story they could believe about a gentle spinster author for whom they could feel affection and tenderness; without it, Austen might have remained a niche favorite cherished by those who knew her work, but she would not have become what she is today: an “infinitely exploitable global brand.” Austen-Leigh received letters from adoring readers around the world, and a rash of new biographies and editions of the novels followed. The commercialization was so intense that in 1905 a disgusted Henry James (whom many would designate Austen’s literary descendant) lambasted “the special bookselling spirit” and the “body of publishers, editors, illustrators, producers of the pleasant twaddle of magazines; who have found their ‘dear’, our dear, everybody’s dear, Jane so infinitely to their material purpose.”
          Harding's essay in 1940 brought a paradigm shift which had a huge effect on how scholars have viewed Austen ever since. Again, he didn't find the whole truth, but he did spot a darker side of Austen that many of her fans entirely miss.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:42:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  sigh. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht, suka, RiveroftheWest, poco

            How can you miss the darker side? /rhetorical.

            PandP and SandS, yeah, maybe, if you're in sixth grade.

            But in Emma? As an adult reader? C'mon!

            /rant

            I really do need to read some more Austen, btw. Never read Persuasion, which sounds wonderful, and in one of my comments here I mis-identified the other one I need to read: Northanger Abbey. Wow. What have I been missing all these years?

            Ya done good, Brecht. This is one of the best comment threads (not to mention your diary that started it) in years.

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:52:47 AM PST

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            •  The longer I look at Austen, the more I find. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              suka, Youffraita, RiveroftheWest, poco

              Perhaps I'll try S&S, then reread P&P and Northanger Abbey, finishing with Persuasion. Over the next 2 or 3 years.

              Good chatting with you. Time for bed. Sleep well, my dear.

              "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

              by Brecht on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:00:23 AM PST

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