June 20, 2011

charles m schulz, tormented artist

excerpt from 'two ponies' 1excerpt from 'two ponies' 2
from The Discomfort Zone
© 2006 by Jonathan Franzen

Yes, more Franzen! I have a schoolgirl crush on the guy and I still haven't read his fiction. Now I'm afraid to, in case I hate it. This excerpt is from his 2006 memoir, which I just finished, and I love this unexpected take on the psychology of the artist/creative person. Just the fact that, as a child, he was as devoted to his Peanuts treasuries as I was (for my boys it was Calvin and Hobbes) ticks a major box for me.

His angle on the creative mindset doesn't surprise me in the least, though I've never heard it put quite like this before. I have heard other analyses that suggest that to be really creative you need enough downtime to get really bored, and it's that boredom that generates the kind of open mind spaces needed to write/paint/invent/research obscure and quirky theories, etc. People who are battling mental illness, substance abuse, etc., have minds that are busy elsewhere. There's no question that my own empty childhood summers were a gold mine for my drawing and story-writing explorations. When I wasn't reading Peanuts, that is. And now? Ask my shrink. :)


Chris Rywalt said...

_The Corrections_ was quite good, although I don't think it held up all the way to the end. For me it sort of lost its way. There are moments across the book, but especially earlier, that are heartbreaking. Then it kind of settles down and becomes more conventional.

I think it's worth reading for sure, but don't expect a masterpiece. (And then, if you find it is a masterpiece, you'll be pleasantly surprised.)

andrea said...

I'm looking forward to reading both The Corrections and Freedom. I love a juicy, thick summer novel.

Melody said...

I really want to read Freedom but the reviews I've read have been so mixed... but I'm headed up north in August so I think I'll bite the bullet and pick it up. I too, love a juicy, thick summer novel.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll enjoy his fiction.

INDIGENE said...

Hey Andrea, for some reason, the comment section did not show up, so I posted my comments on your FB page! I will be reading this! Thank you for another wonderful blog post! :)

Anonymous said...

As for the Corrections, I agree with Chris which, to be honest, left me to abandon the book 3/4 of the way through. I haven't honestly missed it.