Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

On the knife’s edge

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Claudia Emerson

I am aware of the knife-edge we walk as artists when we realize that the compulsion to write the hard emotions refuses to be ignored. I am not alone in telling my students that when emotions are hard and overwhelming, the way to come at them is from the side, the “slant” that Emily Dickinson advocates, and to look “small”—to focus in on the object, the detail that might have just the metaphoric resonance you need. But I have also been accused of coldness for trying to exercise such restraint, and I suppose that will always be the risk, one I am obviously willing to take time and again.

Claudia Emerson

Written by nevalalee

October 3, 2015 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing

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