Monthly Archives: January 2015

the myth of the tortured artist.


I recently read an interview with Eleanor Catton in which she bursts the “creative genius” bubble… I figure she’s right; it’s about time to rid ourselves of unrealistic models and expectations about creating art.

She argues that we must “move past the glamour of the non-functioning creative genius;” in fact, she finds the idea of the unsupported genius “deeply distasteful.”

She writes:

“[this model] disrespects all the people, accidents, opportunities and coincidences that conspire, along the way, to help create and launch an artistic sensibility. [. . .] We need a new model: one that doesn’t depend on outmoded gender norms, destructive values, and the profoundly ugly idea that to be indebted is to be demeaned. [. . .] Kindness is a core value for any artist, but most especially for a fiction writer: a self-centered person can’t see the world from another person’s point of view.”


Thank you, Eleanor, for your wise words and encouragement.





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