On Council and its correlative: Inner Counsel

The question is the following: can a community of critics truly assist in one’s artistic endeavor. More colloquially put, does IR help or hurt?

It seems to me that the unleashed or untempered critic given the space to throw around his opinion may stifle the creative expression. How do I know when I’m stumbling across excellent poetry when, because I know the guy whose poetry I’m reading, and that I don’t care to look into this too deeply because it’s not Keats, I don’t give it breathing room to be other than breathing room. How timid this makes aspiring artists when they must stand in front of skeptical judgement.

Sed contra (see that, allusion bitches), a young artist may need exactly the kind of cold–even if unwarranted–scrutiny that will pull him out of his subjectivity, his conglomerate passions. Both yield an disjointed and discordant rythym of expression. Pulling him out of himself and into the structures of his own perception and subsequent expression, the icy blast of criticism from trusted friends could spur him to a further shedding of the old man of poetry, so apt to forget that words are not his pedastal, but his lover–if unheeded, his demon lover.

Anyway, the real question: How helpful are we being when we critique another’s works, and how can we do better?

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One Response
  1. Lord Bloch says:

    I was thinking about this today, Peter. It seems to me that council, when one is an still learning is something invaluable. It seems to me, also that writing is not this sort of inward thing; writing SHOULD pull you out of yourself, and pull you closer to reality. The old man of poetry is good, don’t get me wrong, but he is immature. Moreover, group/peer critique can help motivate one to do better, if only for the esteem of one’s fellows. Overall, IR is a good thing, even though it is tedious at times, I am a fan of group critique of artwork; however, it is something that should be done sparingly. This constant scrutiny almost forces one to produce and revise too much. I would suggest meeting once or twice a month rather than every week, and I might even suggest having mentorship for newbies.

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