Monday, April 27, 2009

. . . the death of art

I've been reading quite a lot the past few weeks, no need to name what I've been reading, it's not the point. Much of it came to me highly recommended, either through reviews or through recommendations from friends and acquaintances. Some stuff I've really enjoyed, some of it was a letdown, and some I didn't care for, but all of it was well written from a technical standpoint. None of what I read, however, was perfect, in fact, most were deeply flawed in certain places. And far from bothering me, these flaws pleased me most of all. They told me that a flesh and blood human being was behind the things I was reading, that a story was being told by someone who was excited, maybe a little too excited, to tell it, and that it had a soul. In the end that's all writing is about. A person telling a story to other people. Not money, not literary reputation, not immortality- that's all just useless vanity. So, here's to perfection: May we all fall short.


  1. In Iran, making a prayer rug is not only an art, but it is also a message to God. These rugs, crafted with intricate patterns and dazzling brilliance, are purposely given a flaw because nothing is perfect but God. For man to say he has created anything perfectly is vanity, an affront to God.
    Is it not the same of our written work? Who can claim to have created a perfect work? For much that we read, and the way that we read it, is perceive to contain the tiniest of flaws. At times, our own words seem to fall short of their ideal form. Moreover, as I tend to do, we may write ourselves into such a mess, that we convince ourselves the very opposite of what we started to state.
    But vaguely you say that each work you have read contains some kind of flaw. Do you mean as, I think you do, that each work is imperfect or flawed, a natural schism that rises up from the text itself? Or do you mean that the work falls upon itself logically, and thereby being erroneous or sloppy?
    If you mean the later and not the latter, I would say this is all to natural. But if you endeavor only to point out a gauche: I'll answer by quoting the famed American Transcendental Poet Walt Whitman: Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. In both cases, to error is to be human.

  2. missing art...

    I have an old transcript that I think you'd enjoy reading. I scanned it to pdf format. If you'd like to read it just email me at and I'll return it from the address you mailed me from. I'd be interested in your opinion.