Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

surrealism as free-association.

Much of my writing, particularly my short stories, tend to be surrealist in nature. While some writers gravitate toward more realistic or fantastical themes and concepts, I ended up somewhere in the middle stylistically. This was a natural progression in the creative process for me, and I have some thoughts about how and why this happened that I would like to share. But first: what is Surrealism, really?

Early-surrealists wanted to start a movement and revolution. In France, in the 1920’s, artists and literate luminaries adopted a philosophical manifesto that opened up a world of possibility when it came to creative expression. Surrealism transformed the way people thought about art. Art was no longer just about aesthetics and making something beautiful, but it was seen as something that could be powerful, filled with emotion, meaning, and many layers of belief.. 

Surrealists understood that there was a liminal space between reality and fantasy, where they could fully speak their minds and remain untouchable to persecution. They wanted to break away from conventional ideologies and normal-thinking, by drawing inspiration from within this space—a place of no specific perimeters, expectations, or exactitude. In turn, artists discovered a new kind of creative freedom, which gave them license to explore the many realms of the psyche, without needing hard proof, or relying heavily on imaginary constructions.

Unlike the early-surrealists, however, my writing didn’t evolve the way it did, because I wanted to make any progressive waves or grand statements. If anything, my writing developed the way it did, because I felt limited in my ability to write in a strictly confessional or realistic way. I also found it rather difficult to inject my ideas with elements of fantasy, because of the artificial mood and feeling it produced. 

I have always been insecure about being perceived as strange or unusual, especially when it comes to expressing certain beliefs and perspectives. Yet, I have this need inside me to capture and share my thoughts, in order to make sense of the world. I don’t know how other writers/artists connect their perspective of the world to their work, but for me it is a constant relationship—a matter of seeing.          

Every moment I catch myself in awe or conflict throughout the day, I know that this growing awareness will find its way into my art in various forms. In turn, every time I focus in on an aspect or detail, I can be sure that this is shaping and sharpening my overall vision. And for every feeling and belief that rises spontaneously and uncontrollably within me, I have no doubts they lie at the root of all my inspiration.

 My world is not made up of simple black and white reasoning, and edges that divide. My world is like the nature of the trees, becoming one silhouette in the fleeting light. It is continuous like time and energy, while I know I am here, only temporarily. And it is looking at the ethereal outline of distant mountains, and knowing they will manifest the closer I get—like God, pulling at every part of my soul.
I know this about myself, and I know this about my writing. And I guess I’m finally learning to accept that what works for others, doesn’t necessarily work for me. That it is okay to see things differently, and to connect to the world in your own way, whether that is critically, romantically, or freely. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah. I just wanted to share some thoughts about your writing based on what you have posted and also on some of your poetry. It is just a very subjective perspective and does not pretend to capture all the vastness and uniqueness of your writing. I am wishing to read more of your work.

    You are an amazing writer! With you writing never stops. You are constantly writing, even when you are not actually engaged in the physical act of putting pen to paper, the process goes on inside you, and whatever finally comes out has been written long before its actualization throughout words. This could appear as overwhelming as you are engaged in a constant dialogue between you and your material. As a very good writer, you may think you “haven’t figured out yet this writing thing”. Which is a good thing, for if you had figured out already, you would not have written a word. Cautiously, you want to determine what-and-what you wish to say, and how to present it before you write.

    Many writers write because they choose to. And few like you write because they have been chosen to write. It appears as a sealed fate you are struggling with sometimes. However, no matter what you do or how you see it, “writing comes to you..and you can never force it” ( using the words of Edmond Jabes). You know, it can be a scary thing to realize that once you are equipped with this ability, it puts you on the spotlight. Walking this earth, seeing and feeling throughout the eyes of a writer, or at a broader sense, of an artist, you become yourself a medium and you have to relay to others the richness of life.

    To do so, you must be able to feel everything, to see everything. You let experience, your life, the life of others, and nature be your source of inspiration and you know “there are other ways to see, to experience. Not books, not instructors, not institutions”. For that reason you are not afraid to step away from the traditional formalism and “investing in art to reinvent it”.

    Consequently there is a delightful mixture of realism, surrealism, naturalism, symbolism, romanticism, and existentialism in your writing and your art in general. Everything under your pen comes to life, revealed in all their colors: “ the gangly tomboy” finally has a name and a face, love has a name, “nothing” becomes “everything”, the “invisible people” become visible along with their alienation and exile, the sweetness and the smell of the wet tomatoes becomes palpable. Your poetry is an irresistible invitation to a journey to places, to exploring time, love, faith, humanity, infinity, without any pretention of promising answers to the questions that the traveler- your reader- could have along the journey. To write for you is not a matter of attaining a certain degree of generality, of truth. Rather, it stimulates the questioning.

    Keep on writing! I have no doubt that you are arriving to a place of awareness of this internal force that is with you: “ I could prune an orchard with a look, identifying carving wood with my teeth, erect a wall, by permanence of mind.”
    Your words and your art have the same transformational power!