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Friday, January 20, 2017

Cat exploded? Make good art.

Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins for Thaliad

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and eaten by a mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Someone on the internet thinks what you are doing is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Do what only you can do best. Make good art.  --Neil Gaiman

Alternatively, spend some time with good art....


  1. And who shall decide upon the definition of "good art"? Who will make the judgment? On a related topic -- what is a good story -- I've weighed in on Poe elsewhere:
    And your "cat exploded" hook is most disturbing. Poe would have been proud. I, however, am disoriented.

    1. You keep chasing the silver apples of the moon and the golden apples of the sun. You don't worry about the flea-bites of other people's definitions and judgments.

      I'm expect Neil Gaiman would be pleased with the Poe-association!

  2. Hmm? Making good art can only be an aspiration, some disinterested other must provide the verdict. Or are you saying you've gone beyond aspiration and can tell for sure...? I suspect you are, but privily. Spending time with good art is just smoke and mirrors. Me, I'm English: Cry God for Harry and sedulous understatement! Tis written on my garter. But that doesn't preclude immoderate understatement. Will we ever understand each other?

    1. No, I'm subject to time and judgment and even luck like anyone else. In fact, I think of myself as a somewhat invisible author who may or may not be more visible.

      Just thought it was a cheerful thought to insert at this particular time in history. I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the anger and endless attacks on Facebook, particularly....

      But you're right; it's easy to poke holes at the idea. Though Gaiman is English, too--British-American, I suppose we say.

    2. I think that is from an address to a graduating class of artists, so I suppose it is from an aspirational, hopeful stance rather than from a place where the speaker knew achievement had been accomplished.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.