The Completeness of the Incomplete

Posted: October 28, 2007 in All and Sundry, Art Attacks

“To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.” – Pablo Picasso

Comments
  1. momo says:

    Now I know where my chronic writer’s block comes from! Thanks for the insight…

  2. torn says:

    In chess a draw is declared when white and black repeat the same consecutive moves. The same applies to writing in a way. Here is Raymond Carver (http://www.nytimes.com/books/01/01/21/specials/carver-shoptalk.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)

    Evan Connell said once that he knew he was finished with a short story when he found himself going through it and taking out commas and then going through the story again and putting commas back in the same places. I like that way of working on something. I respect that kind of care for what is being done. That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones, with the punctuation in the right places so that they can best say what they are meant to say. If the words are heavy with the writer’s own unbridled emotions, or if they are imprecise and inaccurate for some other reason – if the words are in any way blurred -the reader’s eyes will slide right over them and nothing will be achieved. The reader’s own artistic sense will simply not be engaged. Henry James called this sort of hapless writing ”weak specification.”

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