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" Lunatics are lunatics just because they have thoroughly and recklessly dismembered a familiar world but have not the power - or have lost the power - to create a new one as harmonious as the old. The artist on the other hand disconnects what he chooses and while doing so he is aware that something in him is aware of the final result....this final result is the outcome of a definite plan which had been contained in the initial shock, as the future development of a live creature is said to be contained in the genes of its germ cell.

The passage from the dissociative stage to the associative one is thus marked by a kind of spiritual thrill which in English is very loosely termed ' inspiration '. A passerby whistles a tune at the exact moment that you notice the reflection of a branch in a puddle which in its turn, and simultaneously, recalls a combination of damp green leaves and excited birds in some old garden, and the old friend, long dead, suddenly steps out of the past, smiling and closing his dripping umbrella. The whole thing lasts one radiant second and the motion of impressions and images is so swift that you cannot check the exact laws which attend their recognition, formation, and fusion - why this pool and not any pool, why this sound and not another - and how exactly are all those parts correlated; it is like a jigsaw puzzle that instantly comes together in your brain with the brain itself unable to observe how and why the pieces fit, and you experience a shuddering sense of wild magic, of some inner resurrection, as if a dead man were revived by a sparkling drug which has been rapidly mixed in your presence. This feeling is at the base of what is called inspiration - a state of affairs that common sense must condemn....

In the example I chose - tune, leaves, rain - a comparatively simple form of thrill is implied.... memory played an essential though unconscious part and everything depended upon the perfect fusion of the past and the present. The inspiration of genius adds a third ingredient : it is the past and the present and the future... that come together in a sudden flash ; thus the entire circle of time is perceived, which is another way of saying that time ceases to exist. "


This is V. Nabokov, from "The Art of Literature and Commonsense" describing the work and magic of making art. I have been reading his work over the last decade, but the process he tenderly describes is what has kept me in this game for most of my life. It is a thrill to make the stuff, and a pleasure to share it.