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Monday, April 03, 2006

When I read Marquez or Tolstoy, I feel a sort of removed awe; reading them fills me with appreciation and a vigor for writing. When I read something so obviously brilliant by a peer, however, I feel resentful. I feel depressed. I feel threatened.

Kelsey Innis' paper this week for 325M--a love letter to San Fransisco--is, quite simply, stunning. Since reading it yesterday afternoon, I've found myself trying to mentally list her faults--she's often loud and pushy, she's not the most observant technical editor--it does little to make me feel better.

Kelsey will never care about this sort of praise, because she'll never believe it. Part of that, I think, is the insecurity that seems to go hand-in-hand with being a born artist. The other part is the seemingly contradictory fact that she can innately sense that none of us know, really, what the fuck we're talking about.

My reaction to her prose is admittedly stronger than most people's in the class. Is it because I have unrecognized insecurities with my writing? Possibly. It seems likely though that her mastery digs deeper into me not just because I think her writing is much better, but because it's so obvious that her talent comes intuitively, while my success, if I have any to speak of, comes only through stubbornness. She's no Mozart, and I'm no Salieri, but the relationship--and my frustration (at least as depicted in Amadeus)--feels the same: we're colleagues, but we're still miles apart. What's the solution to this? Bitter acceptance, I suppose, is the first step. The next is to take a deep breath and enjoy reading the work of my classmates as a reader.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cibbuano said...

You have to use your anger to make yourself powerful.

Strike down your father and take your place at my side!

6:35 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

This post pretty much sums up how I feel about Zane and Lan. But not Cib.

11:32 AM  

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