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Monday, August 14, 2006

Julia Cameron and Rainer Maria Rilke???

The Case for Literature is made in this article, What Good Are the Arts.

Letters To A Young Artist by Julia Cameron strikes me as arrogant and facile. I'm about half way through this little book and am not impressed. I read The Artist's Way 4 or 5 years ago and found it interesting, although I didn't do the exercises. This little book (loosely, very loosely based on Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet is aggressive, not contemplative. More than aggressive, it is insulting. Several chapters in (with no previous hint) one discovers that the persona is a crotchety old man, not even Cameron. I've discovered two sentences so far that I like:

"You complain of being blocked, but a block is really just the ego's resistance to working 'badly.'"

"I hope you aren't one of those artists who considers 'craft' a dirty word."

Most of the rest I find slightly offensive or trivial. The criticism of the "young poet's" decor leaves me wondering about Cameron's attitude as well as that of the "old artist" who writes the letters. All that are included are the response to the young poet, so we only see one side of the correspondence.

Just finished Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson and as usual, I enjoyed the latest adventures of Detective Chief Inspector Banks.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO MUCH for the Julia Cameron honesty. I'll always have a special place in my heart for Artist's Way since it directly invoked my willingness to embrace "fiber arts" as opposed to "quilting". I didn't know I had it in me! Obviously, since it IS there, I would have found out sooner or later but AW definitely played a part in when and how I began to expand my sense of personal creative capabilities.

    That was years ago, very shortly after AW was first published. In more recent times, I couldn't even finish LTAYA. It was bringing out my inner judge and jury quite unpleasantly and, frankly, that's not why I read or something I want to indulge in as a result of reading.

    p.s. hope the wedding was fabulous and everybody travelled safely and happily ...