28 nov. 2007

I need a little arrogance--as a necessary fiction--in order to write. Being genuinely excited by my own ideas. I need to get in the mind frame of thinking that I'm terribly intelligent in order to make the ideas flow. (Call it the Coleman Hawkins effect.) Then if the results actually do turn out well, all the better. The alternative is that it won't get written at all. I can't write from a position of non-confidence because the prose won't come out that way. It not only won't turn out well, it won't exist in the first place.

Revision entails a similar attitude. I see something very inadequate I've written, and I know that I can revise it into something much better. In fact, I can even be arrogant about my ability to see how bad something is I've done the day before.

These comments are in reference to critical prose, not the writing of poetry which is something a bit different.

2 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

I've used the word "ambition" to encourage my students to aim high in their critical writing. But maybe "arrogance" would be a nice word to shock them with.

brian salchert dijo...

Certainly, since telepathy is not
a general human aptitude,
each of us needs
ego presence
amd ego pressure
in order to communicate.
Silence isn't always golden.