The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Who Will Walk Through the Mirror Door?

This song from the Who's 2006 album Endless Wire (which doesn't get enough love, by the way; see David Fricke's perceptive review) gets something about the creative process, as far as I can see.

There's an unpredictability, and a vulnerability, when you--ok, when I--undertake something creative. I don't know what's coming out. Oh, I have a vague plan, some bullet points, I admit--but something takes over; a typo leads to a whole new digression, a prior character changes from his planned arc, an unplanned character announces her arrival.

The mind and spirit are effervescent, I follow, as bemused any future reader will ever be.

And, like the Who in "Mirror Door," I find myself invoking my specters--my predecessors in writing, my teachers, even though I have only met them from their books.

They enter through my own mirror door….

Tony Trollope, RFD;
Powell, A and Snow, CP;
GBS and Mark Twain;
Saki bearing extra dry champagne.

Simon Raven, still unhailed;
Oscar Wilde, who thought he'd failed;
Thomas Hardy, Galsworthy, J;
Alex Dumas, Bronte,A;
Jane Austen by no means least,
Make room for TH White at the feast.
AS Byatt and Barbara Pym,
Conan Doyle and Newman, Kim.

There are legions more, of course, but I'm no Townshend. It's just that his song gets across the strange solitary intimacy of writing better than anything else I've ever read.

But enough--time to start the next chapter...

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