Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 5]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 5

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 23rd November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

Weakness of American poetry — it’s anti-intellectual. Great poetry has ideas.
(6/14/76)

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Not only must I summon the courage to be a bad writer — I must dare to be truly unhappy. Desperate. And not save myself, short-circuit the despair.
By refusing to be as unhappy as I truly am, I deprive myself of subjects. I’ve nothing to write about. Every topic burns.
(6/19/76)

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The function of writing is to explode one’s subject — transform it into something else. (Writing is a series of transformations.)
Writing means converting one’s liabilities (limitations) into advantages. For example, I don’t love what I’m writing. Okay, then — that’s also a way to write, a way that can produce interesting results.
(11/5/76)

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‘All art aspires to the condition of music’ — this utterly nihilistic statement rests at the foundation of every moving camera style in the history of the medium. But it is a cliché, a 19th century cliché, less an aesthetic than a projection of an exhausted state of mind, less a world view than a world weariness, less a statement of vital forms than an expression of sterile decadence. There is quite another pov [point of view] about what ‘all art aspires to’ — that was Goethe’s, who put the primary art, the most aristocratic one, + the one art that cannot be made by the plebes but only gaped at with awe, + that art is architecture. Really great directors have this sense of architecture in their work — always expressive of immense line of energy, unstable + vital conduits of force.
(undated, 1977)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Sontag was quoted by Editor-in-Chief Brendan Lemon of Out magazine as saying “I grew up in a time when the modus operandi was the ‘open secret’. I’m used to that, and quite OK with it.” – Susan Sontag

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 4]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 4

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 16th November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

The solution to a problem — a story that you are unable to finish — is the problem. It isn’t as if the problem is one thing and the solution something else. The problem, properly understood = the solution. Instead of trying to hide or efface what limits the story, capitalize on that very limitation. State it, rail against it.
(7/31/73)

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Talking like touching
Writing like punching somebody
(8/14/73)

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To be a great writer:
know everything about adjectives and punctuation (rhythm)
have moral intelligence — which creates true authority in a writer
(2/6/74)

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‘Idea’ as method of instant transport away from direct experience, carrying a tiny suitcase.
‘Idea’ as a means of miniaturizing experience, rendering it portable. Someone who regularly has ideas is — by definition — homeless.
Intellectual is a refugee from experience. In Diaspora.
What’s wrong with direct experience? Why would one ever want to flee it, by transforming it — into a brick?
(7/25/74)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Her often provocative essays and speeches drew criticism. The New York Review of Books called her “one of the most influential critics of her generation.”

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 3]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 3

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 9th November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

French, unlike English: a language that tends to break when you bend it.
(6/21/72)

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A writer, like an athlete, must ‘train’ every day. What did I do today to keep in ‘form’?
(7/5/72)

In ‘life,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my work. In ‘work,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my life.
My work is too austere
My life is a brutal anecdote
(3/15/73)

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The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader’s heart
[…]
The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.
(6/27/73)

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I’m now writing out of rage — and I feel a kind of Nietzschean elation. It’s tonic. I roar with laughter. I want to denounce everybody, tell everybody off. I go to my typewriter as I might go to my machine gun. But I’m safe. I don’t have to face the consequences of ‘real’ aggressivity. I’m sending out colis piégés [‘booby-trapped packages’] to the world.
(7/31/73)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or traveling to, areas of conflict. She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and communism and leftist ideology.

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 2]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 2

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 2nd November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

Greatest subject: self-seeking to transcend itself (Middlemarch, War and Peace)
Looking for self-transcendence (or metamorphosis) — the cloud of unknowing that allows perfect expressiveness (a secular myth for this)
(undated loose sheets, 1965)

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Kafka the last story-teller in ‘serious’ literature. Nobody has known where to go from there (except imitate him)
(undated loose sheets, 1965)

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John Dewey — ‘The ultimate function of literature is to appreciate the world, sometimes indignantly, sometimes sorrowfully, but best of all to praise when it is luckily possible.’
(1/25/65)

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I think I am ready to learn how to write. Think with words, not with ideas.
(3/5/70)

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‘Writing is only a substitute for living.’ — Florence Nightingale
(12/18/70)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Sontag became an international cultural and intellectual celebrity. Her best known works include On Photography, Against Interpretation, The Way We Live Now, Illness as Metaphor, Regarding the Pain of Others, The Volcano Lover and In America.

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 1]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 1

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 26th October 2014

susan sontag photo for series

I have a wider range as a human being than as a writer. (With some writers, it’s the opposite.) Only a fraction of me is available to be turned into art.
(8/8/64)

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Words have their own firmness. The word on the page may not reveal (may conceal) the flabbiness of the mind that conceived it. All thoughts are upgrades — get more clarity, definition, authority, by being in print — that is, detached from the person who thinks them.
A potential fraud — at least potential — in all writing.
(8/20/64)

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Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.
(8/30/64)

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If only I could feel about sex as I do about writing! That I’m the vehicle, the medium, the instrument of some force beyond myself.
(11/1/64)

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Science fiction —
Popular mythology for contemporary negative imagination about the impersonal
(11/1/64)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Susan Sontag [January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004] was an American writer and filmmaker, professor, literary icon, and political activist. Beginning with the publication of her 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Your Elusive Creative Genius

tell me a story
Your Elusive Creative Genius

TED Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert

Post Created by Jennifer Kiley

Reposted from July 2013 

RePost Thursday 9th October 2014
 

PURE CREATIVE GENIUS IN ELIZABETH GILBERT’S TALK. IT’S FUNNY. AMUSING. INFORMATIVE. INSPIRATIONAL. EAT PRAY LOVE. SET A SPELL & BE PREPARED TO LAUGH. MS. GILBERT SPEAKS QUITE WELL FOR HERSELF. ENJOY!!! jkm

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

“Eat, Pray, Love” Author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

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Private Moments #67 – “Screaming Out What’s Real”

private moments in paintings & poetryPrivate Moments #67
Poem “Screaming Out What’s Real”
by Jennifer Kiley
Poem for Private Writings: Chapter #67
“Twisting Inside Shouting Out Loud”
Painting “On Seuss”
by Jk McCormack
Post Monday 23rd June 2014

“For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet’s brain.”
~Michael Drayton~ (1563-1631)

on suess by jkmccormack (c) jkm 2013

On Seuss by jkmccormack (c) jkm 2008

hands reaching out into rain

“Screaming Out What’s Real”
By Madison Taylor
16th December 2008

Screaming
Releasing the danger
Of the Real
Out Loud
Everyone will listen
It all is quite distracting
But they will not hear
What is meant by Real

No one knows what is Real
It isn’t what we Feel
That makes a “Thing” Real
It isn’t what we See
That’s going to set us Free

We are owned
By the World
In which we live in
Eyes watching every move
Following our dreams
We willingly send them
Out into cyberspace
Without regret

After all
What possibly can happen
If “They” know
What “They” think
“They” know
None of it is Real
It’s a metamorphosis of Time
Playing It’s game of Illusions

We are Chess Pieces
Closing in on Check Mate
When the Game is Over
It ALL Starts Again

What Is Your Next Move?
If You Would Like To Begin Again

Endings into Beginnings
Endlessly…infinity symbol small

© madison taylor 2008

candle flame flickering gif

Ilse de Lange - I Still Cry

question everything gif lightning gif julie-andrew AofM emily laughing on grow rolling meditating on rock overlooking flowing river gif feet walking through moving waves gifa story is told through motion in reality <3 jkm

garden waterfall private gazebo overgrown 4pmip&p

“Doorway to a Place of Enchantment”

“Creating is having the courage
to allow the seer into the private
moments of our imaginative lives.”

— Jkm the secret keeper
aka Jennifer Kiley McCormack

red heart outline with pale blue bg

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