Car-Library Research Notes: Continued from Janet Wolff, 1981.
pg 12 - Art as manufacture
The myth of divine inspiration was nicely pilloried by Mayakovsky about fifty years ago:
"Our chief and enduring hatred falls on sentimental-critical Philistinism...The facile Black Mass is hateful to us because it casts around difficult and important poetical work as atmosphere of sexual trembles and palpitations, in which one believes that only eternal poetry is safe from the dialectical process, and the only method of production is the inspired throwing back of the head while one waits for the heavenly soul of poetry to descend on one's bald patch in the form of a dove, a peacock or an ostrich."
Pg 13- Mayakovsky continued: "Poetry is a manufacture. A very difficult, very complex kind, but a manufacture..The work of the verse-maker must be carried on daily, to perfect his craft, and lay in poetical supplies...You mustn't make the manufacturing, the so-called technical process, an end in itself. But it is this process of manufacture that makes poetic work fit for use."
The same is absolutely true of painting.
Pg 13- "We can go further that this, I think, and argue that whether or not the poet, or artist, is self-consciously aware of the productive process, art is always 'manufacture'."
Pg 17- "...the idea of the artist as an individual creative worker, engaged in some supra-human special task, emerged from the period of the Renaissance. Before that time in Europe, what we refer to as artistic work was performed by people working much more under the conditions of other types of worker, and painting, designing and building as artisans and craftsmen, with collective commitment and shared responsibility. Though there were master builders and painters to whom others were apprenticed, they were not seen as sole producer and the single genius behind the work."
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