The CuriousPages Sketchbook

Writing: The Gallery

I was feeling deeply melancholy and I decided to write this work, to attempt to rid myself of the ‘dark plague’ that was swirling within me. When I’d finished the story, I did indeed feel much better. But when I read the story back the next day, something occurred to me. As I read the story from a different point of view (I was now a reader, and in a different state of mind and emotion to the states that the writer was in when he wrote the work), I realized that the story did not seem to depict in any way that ‘black plague’ feeling that had caused me to create the work. The two seemed quite separate. The resulting work does not ‘depict’ that state, the reader does not see the state, nor end up in the same state. But instead, as with all fiction, the resulting material is used by the reader to create their own story—as they interpret the words by drawing on their own memories.

Or, the story I had created, from the inspiration that I was responding to, does not depict that inspiration; it was born out of it, but now has a life of its own, is quite separate from the feeling and state of mind that caused me to write it.

Perhaps, with all works this is the case? Or, did I choose to make it the case, because it is artistically desirable to suggest rather than depict in detail. It makes a better work of art. And the result is that the finished work does not depict the depression, nor should it. The inspiration is the seed, the nudge to do something, produce something. Then a work is produced, but that work does not necessarily have any direct relation to the state that evoked me to be creative. The two are quite separate, and should be.


Read the story.


6 January 2009



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