Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Advancement and the Expiration of Inspiration

A big part of the Advanced Theory is the idea that genius is not something that is visited upon an artist and suddenly disappears after a few years. If it disappears in a few years, it wasn't genius. I think the key is to separate genius from inspiration. Inspiration can raise the level of someone's art for a while and make it seem like someone is a genius, but the inspiration is external, so if things change--the artist falls in love, leaves his band, gets rich--the "genius" goes away too. I remember reading something to the effect that John Lennon wrote on inspiration while Paul McCartney was more of a craftsman. I don't really believe that (they both relied on both), but I do think that is the difference between the pretenders and the real-deal Advanced: the former rely on something magical, whereas the latter rely on their talent. It's like Charles Schultz said: Writer's block is for amateurs.

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