Saturday, July 30, 2011

The One on Recklessness

Dear Blog Readers:

I want to present to you a quote. Because I have been having some thoughts about this quote, and maybe sharing my ideas and listening to yours would be cathargic.

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Flaubert

About this idea by Flaubert; I have read or heard a quote somewhere about every person having a novel inside of them (and what lacks in every person is the possibility of realizing said novel.) I am of the people that dream of someday seeing their name printed on the side of a book, of flipping the pages of that is which is her work.

And not because of any other reason than because I have the desire of writing something. I don't want to be famous throughout what I write or sell the rights to my work and become rich, but I know that I have this novel inside of me and if only I had the time or perseverance to make of this ambition of a novel into reality. I have plotted and even started several stories, stories which I plan to be thousands of words long, because I feel the inspiration. And, I never finish them.

But I don't intend on writing about my lack of realization, but of something that I have realized time and again when coming to the spark of the point that all authors have, and that is the IDEA. And, I know, all authors put a bit of their life and their experience into what they write, and the characters are all in part real people, but when does this become too much? Because maybe this is what Flaubert meant; if you have dreams and ambitions, but live a calm, unfulfilled life, the life of someone normal and maybe even boring, and realize all your craziest ambitions throughout your work, then you can become a great artist. But what does this make of you as a person? Look at Gogol, or so many other geniuses that have fallen into suicidal vice or simply into suicide.

So, if one day you dream about dyeing your hair red, and going to Africa to teach children how to read, of doing something wild and way out of your league, but the next day you have had the inspiration of the story of your life, to be written down as immeadiately as possible, but this story includes a character, a hero, that dyes their hair red and goes to Africa and does something wild and out of their league, what then? 

Because, this is the problem that I have been facing as of late. I cannot create a story without creating a story that should be mine, if maybe I had the guts or the romanticisim of had been born in another situation in another family in another country.

And what if you have the talent?

Should you live a reckless life, or be reckless in your work? Because, what seems obvious to me, is that is quite impossible to do both. And this breaks my heart.


CHE said...

I don't want to believe that one cant be reckless in one's work and life. But perhaps you are right. Perhaps one can live a reckless life and write a gentle novel? Great post.

Susana said...

Hi Nobel Reader! I've been a follower of your blog for a while now and have been wanting to comment since then :)

In my interpretation, which is primarily directed at writers, Flaubert is inciting for regularness and order in a writer's life because these are fundamental to develop the writing craft. You need a certain order in your life so you can be able to produce the massive, complex work of art which is a book; in the same stream of thought, you also need to be regular as a writer depends on discipline and constant work so he can surpass his difficulties and end up with a solid piece, thus not giving up at halfway.

You can notice I see Flaubert's use of "regular" as constancy and persistence, not boredom. "Regular and orderly" do not have to be synonyms of boredom or an unfulfilled life at all. It simply means one has to develop this inner calm, this passiveness maybe, this power of observance of what happens in this world, what everyone does and thinks and expects and dreams, so that you can unleash what you've seen and learned in the form of a story, giving in to all your brainstorming, all your "what-ifs" and imagination.

It all comes down to what you want to convey through your stories. Do they work as therapy for you, confessional perhaps? If so, it's very likely that your main character will have much of your traits and can resemble your ideal self. However, characters don't necessarily have to be like us, right? Nor does it mean that the main character is always a projection of the writer's ideal figure and personality and life.

Your dreams and views can be incorporated in a story, of course(Twilight comes to my mind, as Meyer clearly wrote about what she wanted to be real for her in the figure of Bella), but they don't have to be the bulk of the story . There are many ideas that can be explored, many theories and feelings that can be conveyed to your readers without you having to agree with them or even identify with them at all.

Dreams are wonderful, but they should not be confined to art. Do fight to make them come true for your reality, your life. Finally, I do not know what meaning you give to the term reckless, but do live free, in both your life and your work. Relax, set realistic goals that you are able to commit to so you can finish your stories and simply write what feels most natural to you :) Maybe it doesn't need to be that difficult after all.

I hope I was able to make some sense. Kind regards!

Anne said...

Susanna, thanks for your amazing comment! I love it when people add their personal thoughts, it expands my perspective, and I agree with you on many points.

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