The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, October 17, 2017:

 

… That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.

Wassily Kandinsky, CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL IN ART (1910)

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The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, September 19, 2017:

 

 

Art is a special revelation of the higher powers of the human soul. There is in the contemplation of it an unconscious comparison constantly going on in the mind, of the pure forms of beauty and excellence, which are without to those which are within, and native to the human heart. It is a process of soul-awakening self-revelation, a species of new birth, for a new life springs up in the soul with every newly discovered agency, by which the soul is brought into a more intimate knowledge of its own Divine powers and perfections, and is lifted to a higher level of wisdom, goodness, and joy.

Frederick Douglass

 

The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, July 18, 2017:

 

Great art flourishes on problems or anguish or prejudice.  But the role of the writer must be very clear.  The writer must not be on the side of oppression.  In other words there must be no confusion.  I write about prejudice; I write about wickedness; I write about murder; I write about rape; but I must not be caught on the side of murder or rape.  It is as simple as that.

Chinua Achebe, in CONVERSATIONS WITH JAMES BALDWIN (1989)

The Prompter Room

For Friday, June 30, 2017:

 

Never depart from the truth even though it seems banal at first… All movements painted by Picasso have been seen and felt; he is never theatrical. The Surrealists are theatrical. New York painting, the painting that wants to be or is fashionable, is theatrical. Theater is the image of life and Picasso sees life or rather reality! Keep your integrity. You will only count, for yourself and in your art, to the extent that you keep your integrity.

Louise Bourgeois, from her diaries

The Prompter Room

For Friday, May 12, 2017:

 

A poem or story consciously written to address a problem or bring about a specific result, no matter how powerful or beneficent, has abdicated its first duty and privilege, its responsibility to itself.  Its primary job is simply to find the words that give it its right, true shape.  That shape is its beauty and its truth …

Art reveals something beyond the message.  A story or poem may reveal truths to me as I write it.  I don’t put them there.  I find them in the story as I work.

Ursula Le Guin

WORDS ARE MY MATTER: WRITINGS ABOUT LIFE AND BOOKS, 2000-2016