15.4.07

the idea must have us...








Our age is becoming dried out with ideas. It is the child of the Encyclopaedists. But having an idea is not enough: the idea must have us, haunt us, obsess us, become unbearable to us.

       – Jean Cocteau, from The Art of Cinema

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Notice that Cocteau writes “dried out with ideas,” and doesn’t state “of” or “from”. The difficulty, as his brilliant film Orphée (1949) shows us, is found in what we do with those ideas.

As a writer, if my subject does not throb against the core of my being, my wilderness, it becomes superficial. The technical and literary merits may be present. But, there will be no fire. Nothing to last.

5 comments:

DeadMule said...

Which is why we must nurture our obsessions. Helen Losse

poet with a day job said...

yes, yes, yes!

DeadMule said...

Hi Sam, The Mule's up. Helen

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks Helen and Melissa.

jenni said...

I agree. There has to be passion, obsession, a haunting or calling or whatever you'd like to call it.