‘…the values of creative work…’

‘Often when my friends pronounce responsibility about the values of creative work I experience a loss of contact. I want at such times to voice what may appear to be an antagonism, maybe even a wilful stupidity, about “culture.” To “learn the tools of writing,” to “understand the essentials of the craft,” to “base my practice on models that have proved to be fundamentally sound” – these apparently winsome and admirable phrases put me in a bleak mood. When I  write, grammar is my enemy; the materials of my craft come at me in a succession of emergencies in which my feelings are ambivalent; I do not have any commitments, just opportunities. Not the learning of methods, not the broadening of culture, not even the preserving of civilization (there may be greater things than civilizations), but a kind of dizzying struggle with the Now-ness of experience, that is my involvement in writing. And I believe it is this interaction between imagination and its embodiment as it develops which sustains the speaker and the writer – and sustains the artist in other materials.’

– William Stafford, Writing the Australian Crawl

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