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.