Friday, November 07, 2008

Artists Only

I was in Bristol earlier in the week, with work; quickly following a few days in Whitley Bay with family, so felt a little disorientated by the time I went to see Todd Rundgren at the Academy 2 last night. He was fine, a little on the rocky side, but I'm glad I'd got his new album so some of those songs were familiar. You've got to go see the legends when they come to town. Travel is sometimes something I don't do well, but at least this week I somehow managed to fit in writing a short story. I rarely write about my childhood, and sometimes wonder if my reluctance to mine some of the more personal aspects of memory is one of the things that inhibits it's acceptance. I'm not overly interested in "me", I guess, but we live in a sentimental, autobiographically-obsessed age, so perhaps I should let out a bit more. I'm Scorpio rising, of course, so if my writing appears cold or stern, its also putting a brave face on the tumult underneath. And of course, the story I've just written isn't any more "true" or any less "false" just because I've garnished it with memories of my old school!

I sometimes think visual artists have it easier, in that their work can defy the autobiographical far easier than writers. In Bristol, I was introduced to the German artist Mariele Neudecker, and it was fascinating to see some of what she's working on in her studio - a reinvention of landscape in many ways, she sculpts intricate lifesize forests out of fibreglass, and in her making sculptures of both natural and made objects, I guess I recognised something of my own preference for surfaces.

Back to my story: and there's an interesting technical challenge I've got - which is that there's a section of the story that takes place much later and offers an "explanation" of sorts, of the rest of the story. I'm minded to take it out, but wondering if its "echo" will still be there? I might see about giving out two versions of the story and see whether there's a different reaction depending on whether its included or not.

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