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And describing the private joy of a day spent writing in the head:
‘At last I reached that point where you abandon all hope of remembering your brilliant ideas and you simply surrender to the luxury of writing a book in your head. You know that you’ll never be able to recapture these ideas, not a single line of all the tumultuous and marvellously dovetailed sentences which shift though your mind like sawdust spilling through a hole. On such days you have for company the best companions you will ever have – the modest, defeated, plodding workaday self which has a name and which can be identified in public registers in case of accident or death. But the real self, the one who has taken over the reins, is almost a stranger. He is the one who is filled with ideas; he is the one who is writing in the air; he is the one who, if you become too fascinated with his exploits, will finally expropriate the old, worn-out self, taking over your name, your address, your wife, your past, your future. Naturally, when you walk in on an old friend in this euphoric state he doesn’t wish to concede immediately that you have another life, a life apart in which he has no share. He says quite naively ‘feeling rather high today, eh? And you nod your head almost shamefacedly’. Miller, (1949 p29)
Well put!! Say what you want to say the way you want to say it. Hey, Presto! There are great chunks of Miller, some of which I may have already written out.
In Sexus, look at pages 77,78,79, then 92,93.
Here Miller describes the image of his wife when she discovers Henry’s intentions to leave her. It aptly describes my parting moments with X (No. 1) and Y (No 12 ?)
‘At this she hung her head. She looked indescribably sad and weary, like a human wreck hanging from a meat hook. I looked down at the floor, unable to bear the sight of her face’. Miller, (1949 p 91)
Art makes you restless, dissatisfied.
On art, Miller says this through the mouth of Ulric: ‘The world is going to the dogs. You don’t need much intelligence to get along as things go. In fact, the less intelligence you have the better off you are. We’ve got it so arranged now that things are brought to you on a platter. All you need to know is how to do one little thing passably well, you join a union, you do as little work as possible, and you get pensioned off when you come of age. If you had, any aesthetic learning you wouldn’t be able to go through the stupid routine year in year out. Art makes you restless, dissatisfied’.
On art, a variety of thoughts:
‘You only become something in order to be it – there wouldn’t be any fun in just becoming all the time’.
‘The enjoyment of a beautiful thought is nothing to the joy of giving it expression – permanent expression’.
On earning a living (or not)
‘Recognition and reward are two different things. Even if you don’t get paid for what you do, you at least have the satisfaction of doing. It’s a pity that we lay so much emphasis on being paid for our labours – it really isn’t necessary and nobody knows it better than the artist. The reason why he has such a miserable time of it is because he elects to do his work gratuitously. He forgets that he has to live’. Miller, (1949 p 128)
Miller, H.V. (1949) Sexus. The Rosy Crucifition