Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The painful separation of artist and art

Posted by Ross

Joseph Campbell has the best footnotes. This is Otto Rank from 1943, as footnoted in The Hero With a Thousand Faces. It holds a strong personal resonance:

If we compare the neurotic with the productive type, it is evident that the former suffers from an excessive check on his impulsive life. . . . Both are distinguished fundamentally from the average type, who accepts himself as he is, by their tendency to exercise their volition in reshaping themselves. There is, however, this difference: that the neurotic, in this voluntary remaking of his ego, does not go beyond the destructive preliminary work and is therefore unable to detach the whole creative process from his own person and transfer it to an ideological abstraction.


The idea of the "average type" always strikes me as a bit strange, because it seems like it's saying it is somehow normal or "average" that a person would "accept himself as he is," whereas I kind of think most people have trouble accepting themselves for who they are, if they even know how to figure out an honest way of ever even discovering who they are.

And that's something that appeals to me as an artist, the grasping at abstract concepts to piece together a greater truth. Not to replicate the world, but to interpret it. And in doing so, the artist's creation is left vulnerable to other people's opinions of this unique interpretation, which is invariably painful because it's just so damn hard sometimes to feel a separation between who I am and something I made.

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