On the Enterprise of Art

Protagonist Lawrence Breavman achieves a manner of success with his first book:

His book of Montreal Sketches appeared and was well received. […] He read his sketches for small societies, large college groups, enlightened church meetings. He slept with as many pretty chairwomen as he could. He gave up conversation. He merely quoted himself. He could maintain an oppressive silence at a dinner-table to make the lovely daughter of the house believe he was brooding over her soul. […] The world was being hoaxed by a disciplined melancholy. All the sketches made a virtue of longing. All that was necessary to be loved widely was to publish one’s anxieties. The whole enterprise of art was a calculated display of suffering.

From The Favorite Game, by Leonard Cohen (published 1963).

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Published in: on July 20, 2010 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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