Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for August 3rd, 2013

Leonardo’s ink blots

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Sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci

I will not refrain from setting among these precepts a new device for consideration which, although it may appear trivial and almost ludicrous, is nevertheless of great utility in arousing the mind to various inventions. And this is, that if you look at any walls spotted with various stains, or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expression of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well-conceived forms. With such walls and blends of different stones it comes about as it does with the sound of bells, in whose clanging you may discover every name and word you can imagine.

Leonardo da Vinci

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August 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

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How long does it take to write an epic poem?

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I should not think of devoting less than twenty years to an epic poem. Ten to collect materials and warm my mind with universal science. I would be a tolerable Mathematician, I would thoroughly know Mechanics, Hydrostatics, Optics, and Astronomy, Botany, Metallurgy, Fossilism, Chemistry, Geology, Anatomy, Medicine—then the mind of man—then the minds of men—in all Travels, Voyages and Histories. So I would spend ten years—the next five to the composition of the poem—and the five last to the correction of it. So I would write haply not unhearing of that divine and nightly whispering Voice, which speaks to mighty minds of predestinated garlands, starry and unwithering.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Written by nevalalee

August 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

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