Monthly Archives: July 2014’s 1998 Takedown of The Artist’s Way

I’ve like the creativity self-help book The Artist’s Way and have gotten a lot out of it since I first read it back in 1995. But you have to admit, it does tend to get a little indulgent and precious after a while. Jeffrey Taylor mentioned how he detested the book on Facebook so I dug up this old gem, a screed against the book from July 20, 1998 by Abrose Beers (aka Chris Bray):

“[T]here aren’t many references to art – the thing, the product of all that self-gratification – in the preceding pages, either.  Missing in this vision is the strong, persistent understanding that writers read, painters look at paintings, and musicians drive around listening to the radio and trying not to get day jobs or move out of their parents’ house.  The understanding, in short, is that creation follows some kind of effort to discern, to see before trying to show.  The artist’s way is about making art, about a task and a product; The Artist’s Way is about being an artist, about wearing the identity.”

Full essay in the the archives

Colonel Henry Blake’s Final Exit on M*A*S*H

Found this Snopes entry linked on a Metafilter thread about the lasting impact of M*A*S*H. I always credit watching that show in syndication every night at dinner with making me wanting more out of TV and narrative media:

Producer Larry Gelbart on the night of shooting the last scene of that season:

“I did not want to rehearse it; we would shoot it only once. Then, Gene and I took the cast aside and I opened a manila envelope that contained the one-page last scene, telling them I had something I wanted to show them.

… I gave each [actor] a copy of the scene to read to themselves. Each had a different reaction.

“F**king brilliant,” said Larry Linville.

“You son of a bitch,” Gary said to McLean. “You’ll probably get an Emmy out of this!”

After Gary [Radar] finished reading his message, there was a hushed silence on the set as B.J.’s camera panned the stricken faces of the cast, and then someone off-camera accidentally let a surgical instrument drop to the floor. It was perfect, that clattering, hollow sound, filling a palpable void in a way that no words could. ”

Full entry on Snopes