Pearls from artists* # 47

Grand Falls, AZ

Grand Falls, AZ

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

An artist can expect no help from his peers.  Any art form which is not his own must be intolerable to him and upsets him to the highest degree.  I have seen Claude Debussy ill at the orchestral rehearsals of Le Sacre.  His soul was discovering its splendour.  The form that he had given to his soul was suffering from another that did not accord with its own contours.  Therefore no help.  Neither from our peers nor from a mob incapable of consenting without revolt to a violent break with the habits it had begun to form.  Whence will help come?  From no one.  And it is then that art begins to use the obscure stratagems of nature in a kingdom which resists it, which even seems to fight it or turn its back upon it. 

Jean Cocteau in The Difficulty of Being

Comments are welcome!  

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara’s thoughts on art, the creative process, soft pastel, the inspiration she finds in travel, what it’s like to be an artist in New York City, and other wisdom for artists as we travel our solitary and sometimes lonely roads.

Posted on July 3, 2013, in 2013, An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. That must be a wonderful book–Cocteau’s the Difficulty of Being–

    • Marie, it is! I picked it up at the National Gallery of Art in DC after seeing a wonderful exhibition on the Ballet Russe. Cocteau worked with Diaghilev, as you may know. Thanks to his films, especially “Beauty and the Beast,” I am a huge Cocteau fan and have read just about everything he wrote about art.

      • Hi Barbara
        I just looked the it up on Amazon. The Cocteau book in now on my reading list. I’ve seen Cocteau films, and have read lots of early surrealist writings. I’ve long been a fan of Luis Bunuel films, and have viewed most in theaters on big screens rather than on video. I also once worked with a curator of surrealism–we shared an office even. So I’ve always been around early surrealist writing and films and some art for quite a while. Good to see that others still appreciate their writings!

      • Marie, me, too, about the films, Bunuel, and surrealist writings. When I moved to NYC in the 90’s I took a series of film classes at NYU and The New School. Since you are a fellow film lover, do you know that Flavorwire recently published a list of 50 classic films that you can watch on YouTube? I’m slowly watching ones I haven’t seen. Not the same as seeing them in a theater, of course, but still a treat!

      • Hi Barbara–thanks for the tip. I subscribe to Flavorwire newsletter, so will look for the list.

  2. interesting and frightening and pretty much on target, the comments by Cocteau; I’m a Bunuel fan as well and, Barbara, you know what the surreal means to me. For the classes I teach, I need film lists. So whenever they pop up, let me know. I will read The Difficulty of Being because it so suits. Thanks.

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