Yesterday morning, at approximately 12:15, with cup of overpriced, cold tea in one hand and a half-eaten Lion bar in the other, I was called both a tortured artist and a genius.
Perhaps that deserves a little more exposition, right? Or perhaps I should just leave it there, for the mixture of confusion, doubt and, if you reacted in a way at all similar to how I did, an overly healthy amount of derision.
A thousand words of the current text I am working on were submitted as my peer review thing for our Final Portfolio module. I had submitted another section of the novella before that, and the response to that portion of text was surprise. Surprise that I, me, with my long, unkempt hair, several days of stubble on my jaw and dressed in a way which would no doubt be offered the term ‘Alternative’, could actually write in what they collectively deemed to be an ‘Intellectual’ manner.
After the tutor, Rosemary Kay (and she’s actually a damn talented writer, I’d certainly recommend checking her stuff out), said how impressed she was, how amazed she was that I was fearlessly addressing the issues of ego and self-obsession that every writer must feel, she recommended a transcript of a lecture by Gertrude Stein, entitled ‘What are masterpieces, and why are there so few of them?’, a novel called ‘Artful’, by Ali Smith and David Shields ‘Reality Hunger: A Manifesto’.
Yesterday, the theme continued, with one of the pieces of paper I got back with someone else’s notes on it said ‘I am over-awed’ and ‘You’re going to go far’, I began to feel a little sick.
I know I’m not a genius; I’m almost a simpleton for Christ’s sake! I’m a drunken, unemployed twenty year old with self-destructive tendencies which have manifested themselves into my entire personality. I’m arrogant and pretentious and I know it.
I hate those words, those meaningless phrases that student wrote on my work, a text denouncing Art and genius. Although, I have to say, that didn’t stop me joking about being a ‘tortured artist’ with people who have known me for almost eight years, at this point, all the way to last night’s Black Stone Cherry gig.
Which fucking rocked, by the way!