"Many of his works have almost no plot as such, but instead tend to focus on one situation after another. When he does try to use a story plot, as in East of Eden, the novel becomes very labored and one has the feeling constantly that he is following a plot reluctantly and that what he really wants to say has very little to do with a sequence of cause and effect, an evolving pattern of events that build to a climax and resolution. He didn't think that way. He was unable to see situations as having resolutions. To him, life and the difficulties of life were ongoing (as witness for example, the ending of The Grapes of Wrath.) Therefore, most of his novels aren't novels in the traditional sense so much as collections of scenes or sketches."
That is greater horror to an old man than death - to be forgotten.
His whole life had been a hunger for ideas - any ideas - the creation of them, then to hurl them on an astonished world. They would go bounding, like stones started down a long hill, awakening an avalanche of admiration.
The most human of all human traits is inconsistency.
All great and precious things are lonely
As with many people, Charles, who could not talk, wrote with fullness. He set down his loneliness and his perplexities, and he put on paper many things he did not know about himself.
...dedication, prologue, argument, apology, epilogue, and perhaps epitaph all in one:
The craft or art of writing is the clumsy attempt to find symbols for the wordlessness.
I don't suppose writing consists in anything more than doing it.
And, of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen. And I here make a rule - a great and lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting - only the deeply personal and familiar.
Intelligent people live their lives as nearly on a level as possible - try to be good, don't worry if they aren't, hold to such opinions as are comforting and reassuring and throw out those which are not. And in the fullness of their days they die with none of the tearing pain of failure because having tried nothing they have not failed. These people are much more intelligent than the fools who rip themselves to pieces on nonsense.
Not a book working toward an ending or purpose. Rather, it's about seeing carefully and without preconceived notions.
Through the windows he could see Mack and the boys sitting on the pipes in the vacant lot, dangling their feet in the mallow weeds and taking the sun while they discoursed slowly and philosophically of matters of interest but of no importance.
Thought is the evasion of feeling.
This is the greatest mystery of the human mind - the inductive leap. Everything falls into place, irrelevancies relate, dissonance becomes harmony, and nonsense wears a crown of meaning. But the clarifying leap springs from the rich soil of confusion, and the leaper is not unfamiliar with pain.
Thus, a valid painter, letting color and line, observed, sift into his eyes, up the nerve trunks, and mix well with his experience before it flows down his hand to the canvas, has made his painting say, 'it might be so.' Perhaps his critic, being not so honest and not so wise, will say, 'it is not so. the picture is damned.' If this critic could say, 'it is not so with me, but that might be because my mind and experience are not identical with those of the painter,' that critic would be the better critic for it, just as the painter is a better painter for knowing he himself is in the pigment.
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone, or on the lives of people. This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who writes dirty words in a public toilet to the Buddah who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do.
A writer out of loneliness is trying to communicate like a distant star sending signals. He isn't telling or teaching or ordering. Rather he seeks to establish a relationship of meaning, of feeling, of observing. We are lonesome animals ... It is so hard to be clear. Only a fool is willfully obscure... -JS
He identified the intellectual as a self-promoter who sacrificed truth and feeling to the advancement of his own reputation. -JB/JS
Throughout his career he had his secrets ... He felt that art should be a mystery, and that mystery should not be diluted or dissipated by outside discussion or explanation.
You'll never get out clear no matter which way you go. A man going on living gets frayed and he drags little tatters and rags of things behind him all the rest of his life and his suit is never new after he has worn it a little. -JS
I should like to hold you in image ... You would then be the focusing point, the courts, the jury. -JS
...he had learned to rather than address his work to a faceless reader, he would write his books to someone he knew. -JB/JS
...like Kafka's hunger artist, he must come to know that his art is his life, regardless of outside understanding or approval - his art defines him, and while the pursuit of his art may be the easiest thing in the world, it is also the hardest. -JB/JS
Defining what one wants is the true struggle; if one is lucky enough to do so, the acquisition comes naturally.
The secret to happiness? Low expectations and a regular series of small victories.
There's those who think they deserve everything, and those who know they deserve nothing.
Poetry: a silly, embarrassing, and very useful activity.
Anything resembling an interesting life is brought about by forced actions and a game of make-believe.
School was wrong. Photography isn't about 'storytelling.' Closest form of art to PG is poetry; PG is about conveying a feeling, sentiment, emotion through metaphor and symbolism. It is not meant to tell or inform, its purpose is to ask a question and to provoke an solution.
Work hard your whole life, refine yourself as a man, love others and graciously be loved, have something to show for yourself, be proud and admired - in the it's the same as that of an unknown animal or a faceless citizen in a far away unknown nation. We all go down alone, sad, unfulfilled, and cheated. With the exception of very few: kings, conquerors, icons, and saints - none will know immortality. The lucky few may be spoken of and hold some influence for a generation or two.
Defining oneself as an artist in and of itself is delusional, therefore means of production, vision, and legacy must be equally delusional and the delusion must be celebrated.
Education over depression. Cohesiveness over anxiety.
The wheel of destitute must come off the axle.
It's been years, and freedom no closer.
Most days can't leave the house, haven't used the telephone in weeks.
Senses must be sharpened. Educate, identify, and execute.
These periods, this vast period, can't sustain a life.
A course of action is required.
An open line of communication - to everyone, to anyone.
Every good idea - any good idea, should be pursued.
Return to a life of learning.
Enter an age of enlightenment, of intense self-education.
Keep notes, test yourself.
brave new ground.
And grow stronger.
Improve on the former self and share all of it along the way.
Don't let the blues hinder the process.
Use the blues as part of the process.
Fuck what's dealt.
Play it through.
Go all in.
And don't flinch.
How much meaning in that word.
And how empty of a word.
How many men have tormented themselves over that word?
Beat their heads against walls and tore their hearts out in vain?
How many sleepless nights,
and anxious mornings
have been caused by this word?
How many lives squandered
because of this grand-notion of
Men build palaces that don't exist.
Men spend their best years climbing peaks that are not there.
They toss behind love, life, and laughter along the way.
The palace can never be completed.
The mountain never summited.
And still men see it.
It is a hard thing to turn away from.
On clear days, when the clouds part,
the palace is there.
This is the burden men carry.
There is no answer here.
And the harder one seeks one,
the higher the summit.
The Road-Trip can be an allegory for the creative-process, in that there is no end/exit/conclusion. At the 'end' of the 'trip' one finds himself right back where started, with nothing gained but the experience of the doing of the thing. This still does not make the journey futile or without value.
Use the Road. Burn some Gas.
Once the journey has begun, it becomes very impractical to turn around. Conventional wisdom is inclined to say that once started off, one has to see it through, to the end.
But again, there is no end. One ends up back where he started, with a few things learned, and the journey goes on, in one way or another.
So, when a man makes the tragic first move of seeing himself as an 'artist,' and committing to the creative-process, he is committing to a trek that will never conclude; at least with any sense of peace or accomplishment. All there is is the journey, and that is what must be appreciated and celebrated.
I've always loved a wedding. The anticipation, the positive anxiety, the chaotic euphoria of the big day. It's like being on drugs. Troubles are thrown out, worries are stashed away for the day, and consequences are damned. The day is about unchecked jubilation, perhaps even moreso for the guests and party than for the couple themselves. And for the starring couple, it's a beautiful moment - it is THE beautiful moment of their entire lives. It is the day that will be remembered all the way to the end. It is the moment of pure, undoubting, optimism for all that lays ahead. And tomorrow, or a little later, the natural qualms and resentments of true love may again simmer, but on this day, on the alter in front of all the beloved, proclaiming vows, dancing, laughing, toasting - the devoted pair will feel a stronger love than has ever been felt by any wedded pair in time. They know this, together, they know they will defy any challenge that the world can bring on. In this moment, on this day, they are pure, they are true, and a photograph can be made of this moment that is love in it's cleanest, simplest form.
The Natural Process:
Education, insight, formulation, and creation will only work right when it is all a part of a true Natural Process. Natural, in the sense of being driven by one's true course. Good or bad, honorable or degrading, epic or insignificant. Our day to day and blur of years all contribute to the True process.
What we forget, what we lack, our regrets, and our failures - they are just as relevant and useful as our most cherished memories and blessings, our proudest achievements.
The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But the man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate. -mccarthy
lack of order or predictability, gradual decline into disorder.
entropy is the only quantity in the physical sciences that requires a particular direction of time.
Therefore, the only true observable measure of universal time, may be of things falling apart.
Education, insight, formulation, and creation will only work when it is all part of a Natural Process. Natural in the sense of being driven by one’s true course: Good or Bad, Honorable or Degrading, Epic or Insignificant. Our day-to-day and blur of years all contribute to the True Process. What we forget, what we lack, our regrets, and our failures - they are just as relevant and as useful as our most cherished memories and blessings, our pride and achievements.
We are perpetual works in progress.
A piece of art is the surface expression of a life lived within productive patterns
Photography is an act of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them
Much of the reality is filtered out of the static little image - some of it exaggerated with unnatural clarity and importance when exhibited.
The subject and the photo are not the same thing. A photographer must look past the present reality to the future, unmade still frame, and choose to see the latter.
Photography doesn’t work well as a narrative devise, rather than as visual symbols to convey meaning over explanation. Good photos question rather than explain.
The central act of photography: Choosing and Eliminating
The image will survive the subject, and become the remembered reality.
Immobilizing thin slices of time is the fascination of the photographer - it has little to do with what is “happening” and more to do with otherwise unseen moments of space, line, form, light, and shadow - shapes concocted within the flux of movement. Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” is a misunderstood phrase: It’s not a dramatic climax, but a visual one.
The result is not a story, but a picture.
“An artist seeks new structures in which to order and simplify his sense of the reality of life.”
“Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lays.”
A photograph works as a simple, tangible, accessible, digestible substitute for the subject itself. Easier to interpret than the living fact. The photographer’s vision hides his hand - his work, incapable of narrative, turns toward symbol.
The photographer starts with the frame and works inward. By insulating symbols, the photographer creates relationships.
As I progressed farther along with my project, it became obvious that it was really unimportant where I chose to photograph. The particular place simply provided an excuse to produce work.
...you can only see what you are ready to see - what mirrors your mind at the particular time.
Shoot as if the picture will be the final representation of the subject.
The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget; Never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it
Ultimately, success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer’s ability to understand his fellow man.
He agrees that he does not take ‘human interest’ photographs, that the viewer does not ‘meet’ his people. Rather, the viewer is more likely to see his subjects as symbols.
photography , alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment - this very moment - to stay.
The goal of every artist is to stop movement, which is life, by artificial means and to maintain it fixed so that one hundred years later, when a stranger may gaze at it, it will once again move, because it is life.
Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.
Photography is not the goal - it is the tool we use to reach the goal.
Not only is a camera only a tool, but Photography itself is only a tool.
The Message is what matters, not the product.
Discrimination of what you want to see in your photographs will control what you see
...their discrimination about that they wanted to end up with in their photograph was controlling what they saw…
“Believing is seeing”
Black and White photography is popular, very popular. I don’t think we’re going to see this slip away…ever. It’s no longer about creating a vintage “before the introduction of color film” look but as an expression in itself.
True Black and White photography should demonstrate skill, the full understanding of exposure & light, tonal range and why it should be used over color in the first place.
Combining this with timeless photos, those of well-framed snippets of history will stand the test of time. We’re looking at high artistic vision, creativity and strong demonstrated techniques.
Richard Pryor said
"If I stop - I'll die."
And then he stopped.
And then he died.
When writing depressing poetry
becomes so intolerable
and so fucking boring
but the fear persists
what the fuck
else is there to do?
A photograph isn't much
different than a shitty
And no one looks at a picture
'the guy that took that is miserable.'
- 'an asshole, maybe,
but he's doing
Dad used to scrape together some cash, sometimes on his own, or as a group effort between pals, and buy a used car.
The car would be fixed up just enough to make it road-worthy to run around for the summer on fumes and beer and when something finally broke that couldn't be fixed for less than the price of a case of beer the untitled car would be left in a scrapyard or dry riverbed.
Cars have a profound impact on American's lives in a subtle manner that most don't actively recognize.
The car is iconic and representative of our culture in a manner so integrated that we hardly see it -
The car is like oxygen, but only if the air we breath was also unique and reflective to and of each individual who took a breath - and also required a sort of emotional relationship between a human and a machine.
...tell this story.
Fine-art photography, if one truly cares about creating a strong body of work, calls for a commitment much more unique and demanding than other creative mediums.
A factory worker can also be a painter at night; a data-entry man can compose a novel before and after work; a mechanic can spend his weekends practicing the violin.
And all three will grow, hone their craft, and may produce something respectable.
For photographers however - the product demands so much more.
A photographer must be able to get out into the world to make his art.
It requires immersion.
It will define his identity.
It takes time and money.
Creating meaningful pictures is a Job - whether you like it or not.