It's akin to style, what I'm talking about, but it isn't style alone. It is the writer's particular and unmistakable signature on everything he writes. It is his world and no other. This is one of the things that distinguishes one writer from another. Not talent. There's plenty of that around. But a writer who has some special way of looking at things and who gives artistic expression to that way of looking: that writer may be around for a time.
The essential in artistic creativity is victory over the burden of necessity. In art, man lives outside himself, outside his burdens, the burdens of life. Every creative artistic act is a partial transfiguration of life. In the artistic concept man breaks out through the heaviness of the world. In the creative-artistic attitude towards this world we catch a glimpse of another world.
What is art? A violet. Is that all? An artistic style is a living entity, a continuous process of invention. It can never be imposed from without; born of the profoundest tendencies within a society, its direction is to a certain extent unpredictable, in much the same way as the eventual configuration of a tree's branches.
I firmly believe in and support everyone's right to freedom of artistic expression. STEEL MAGNOLIAS is my artistic expression, and it is my right to say that its female characters be portrayed by women. The concept of a play set in a beauty parlor where men portray women is a terrific idea. If that is someone's artistic expression, I encourage them to write their own play as soon as possible.
Styles tend to not only separate men - because they have their own doctrines and then the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change. But if you do not have a style, if you just say: Well, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely? Now, that way you won't create a style, because style is a crystallization . That way, it's a process of continuing growth.
The beginner should approach style warily, realizing that it is himself he is approaching, no other; and he should begin by turning resolutely away from all devices that are popularly believed to indicate style - all mannerisms, tricks, adornments. The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity.
When a book, any sort of book, reaches a certain intensity of artistic performance, it becomes literature. That intensity may be a matter of style, situation, character, emotional tone, or idea, or half a dozen other things. It may also be a perfection of control over the movement of a story similar to the control a great pitcher has over the ball.
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