Monday, April 21, 2008

Dorothy Brande

"The idea of the alter ego, the other self, or higher self, recurs whenever genuius becomes conscious of its own processes, and we have testimony for it in age after age."

"The man of genius is one who habitually (or very often, or very successfully) acts as his less gifted brothers only rarely do. He not only acts in an event, but he creates an event, leaving his record of the moment on paper, canvas, or in stone."

"But the genius, you must remember, is the man who by some fortunate accident of temperament or education can put his unconscious completely at the service of his reasonable intention, whether or not he is aware that this is so."

Dorothy Brande, from "Becoming a Writer"


lisaalber said...

This is thought-provoking. I've been thinking a lot about the unconscious/subconscious and intention lately.

I think I have this book on my shelf; I ought to dip into it!

Lethe said...

Brande's "Becoming a Writer" is a cult classic. Written in 1934 it still reads in thoughtful, direct, and concise language. It is also the type of book I return to over and over. What kinds of questions have you been asking yourself about the unconscious/subconscious? My goal is to make the comments on this blog a place to discuss ideas . . .

Lethe said...

Lin Yutang, from The Importance of Living, says:

Man's intellect is considered as a flow of energy. Literally this intellect is "spirit of genius" (chingshen), the word "genius" being essentially taken in the sense in which we speak of fox genni, rock genii and pine genii. The nearest English equivalent is, as I have suggested, "vitality" or "nervous energy," which ebbs and flows at different times of the day and of the person's life. Every man born into this world starts out with certain passions and desires and this vital energy, which run their course in different cycles through childhood, youth, maturity, old age and death.