Do Artists Need an Excuse?
A nasty little voice in my head says writing is self-indulgence when there’s so much that needs to be done, protested, supported, or fixed in the world at large. A wiser voice in my gut says I’m doing what I’m called to.
Writers, and perhaps all artists, try to understand a little about the world and share that understanding with others. Much of my favorite fiction touches on justice, ethics, relationships, motivation, and the interplay of individual and society. It leads me to perceive or experience life in fresh and deepening ways.
Philosopher and author A.C. Grayling wrote, “To ask what art is good for is not exactly the same as asking what its purpose is.” Art and literature are their own excuse for being. Novelists and painters create for pure joy, or to pay the bills, or for any purpose or none. Their creations may be entirely self-indulgent and still do good in the world at large.
7/3/2017 10:49:23 am
Balanchine compared himself to a gardener cultivating
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I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.