After three years of war he could resume work. Three years . . . ! As he stood in the center of his allegorical blocks he divined that time too was a tool: a major work of art required months, years for its emotional elements to solidify. Time was a yeast; many aspects of the Day and Dusk, the Madonna, which had eluded him before now seemed clear to him, their form matured, their definition resolved. A work of art meant growth from the particular to the universal. To a work of art, time brought timelessness.
~ Irving Stone: The Agony and the Ecstasy, Book Nine, Chapter 5
Tag Archives: Michelangelo
Somewhere between six and nine months into the writing of Irish Firebrands, I began to think, “Am I doing this right?” I had recently begun reading Irish newspapers online, and I ran across two columns written by Dermot Bolger: Getting Down to Writing Business, and Open a Hotel for your Subconscious. This particular passage told me that I was doing it right.
“Sometimes the less we know about what will happen in a work of fiction, the better off we are. Because the more we know about what happens next, the more we close off the possibilities of the unexpected, the less chance we have of allowing our subconscious minds to speculate and probe down to the awkward truths that we need to express instead of glib things we initially thought we wanted to say.
If we already know what we intend to say, we are going to learn nothing by saying it. Only when we allow our imagination the space to catch us by surprise, when we sit back and stare in bafflement at words that suddenly start appearing on our screens, do we find ourselves to be truly writing. Only then can we honestly say that we are being brought – often by the seat of our pants – on imaginative journeys into the unknown.” ~ Dermot Bolger, Getting Down to Writing Business, August 20, 2009, The Irish Times (online edition)
The Biblical hero David had been sculpted often, by the time Michelangelo applied for the commission to work an enormous block of Carrara marble that had been lying abandoned for 25 of the artist’s 26 years of life.
Trust your artistic instincts. Write.