Importantitis - enemy of creativity

I saw Terry Teachout's article Importantitis, Enemy of Art: How to Wreck a Career in One Easy Lesson in the Wall Street Journal of Feb. 16, 2008."Importantitis" is the word Stephen Sondheim used to describe Leonard Bernstein's inability to follow-up on the success of West Side Story.I found this paragraph particularly interesting, in which Teachout contrasts Ralph Ellison with George Balanchine:"Contrast Ellison's creative paralysis with the lifelong fecundity of the great choreographer George Balanchine, who went about his business efficiently and unpretentiously, turning out a ballet or two every season. Most were brilliant, a few were duds, but no matter what the one he'd just finished was like, and no matter what the critics thought of it, he moved on to the next one with the utmost dispatch, never looking back. "In making ballets, you cannot sit and wait for the Muse," he said. "Union time hardly allows it, anyhow. You must be able to be inventive at any time." That was the way Balanchine saw himself: as an artistic craftsman whose job was to make ballets. Yet the 20th century never saw a more important artist, or one less prone to importantitis."How often do we experience a time when we're forced to create, and yet we can't summon anything to produce? Perhaps Balanchine's discipline is one of the ways we can move beyond any creative block.

You need to be a member of Library 2.0 to add comments!

Join Library 2.0

Email me when people reply –