Creating a Composition and Gathering Insight

“Because of the envious nature of men, it has always been no less dangerous to find new methods and institutions than to look for unknown seas and lands, since men are readier to blame than to praise the actions of others.  Nevertheless […] although it may be irksome and difficult, it can also bring me a reward from those who are kind enough to keep in mind the goal of these labors of mine.  And if my poor intellect, my slight experience of current affairs, and my feeble knowledge of ancient ones make this attempt of mine imperfect and of little use, it will at least show the way to someone with more ability and a greater capacity for analysis and judgment, who can carry out this intention of mine, which, although it may not bring me praise, should not earn me blame.”                                          –Machiavelli, The Discourses

On Sundays I plant myself in Izzy’s café with an assortment of books.  As I read I mine for anything useful.  I mine through books mostly of philosophy and theory, underlining, noting, and trying to gauge the value of each new find, trying not to forget the majority of everything as time passes.  Even if I leave it at that, making no further attempt to organize the bulk of it all, I come away feeling stirred and inspired.  If I put a little more time in the following evening and try to compile the various pieces, try to form a new coherent whole that lends my own work strength, I grow more inspired and confident, witnessing my own literary golem begin to emerge, taking up my cause with its mismatched parts sourced from various pages. Ergo my plan, to carefully over time puzzle together an outlook and position increasingly supportive of my own aesthetic.

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