Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Robert Graves on craftsmanship, technique, and magic

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Technique ignores the factor of magic; craftsmanship presupposes it. A journeyman, after seven years as an apprentice, will get the feel of his materials and learn what quiet miracles can be done with them. A small part of this knowledge is verbally communicable; the rest is incommunicable, except to fellow craftsmen who already possess it. The technician’s disregard of this inexplicable element, magic, in painting, sculpture, medicine, music, and poetry—on the ground that it cannot be demonstrated under laboratory conditions—accounts for the present dismal decline in all arts.

Robert Graves, Oxford Addresses on Poetry

Written by nevalalee

July 9, 2011 at 1:02 am

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