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    artists as writers

    I don't know what this says about me or my career as a writer, but the writing that most inspires me to write is seldom writing produced by other writers, but more commonly by visual artists who write.

    This happened in the fall of 2004, when I was reading Robert Smithson's collected writings (some scavengings and related riffs here), and it happened again just yesterday, in the John Cleary Library at the Houston Center for Photography, when I was looking at Spiritual America, a collection of Richard Prince's photography, painting and writings. The exact writings in Spiritual America don't appear to be online, but this bit, at Prince's website, is perhaps indicative of the sort of aggregation of narrative fragments, factoids, aphorisms, and plagiarized bits found there. I read this stuff for five minutes and for the first time in over a year I wanted to write something that someone might call "fiction" or "poetry." Stay tuned.

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    Friday, May 30, 2008
    3:49 PM


    These thoughts are really interesting. My girlfriend, who is a photographer, e-mailed me this quote awhile back, because she thought a quote from a photographer/filmmaker could also be applied to writing (be it fictional or poetic):

    "Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. You may see and be affected by other people's ways, you may even use them to find your own, but you will have eventually to free yourself of them. That is what Nietzsche meant when he said, "I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him." He knew how insidious other people's ways could be, particularly those which have the forcefulness of profound experience, if you let them get between you and your own vision." -Paul Strand

    I can't make any direction connections between the above quote and your post, but I believe it fits into your notion of visual artists being able to inspire writers.
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