Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Writers, Artists, Maestros.

The following text is a translated article from Arabic into English, it was translated by Hatem Abunimeh



Creative rituals for the artists and scholars : The strange methods of invoking the revelations are closer to insanity.

The American novelist Mark Twain used to look for a bed before he starts writing, he considered the bed a special condition that has cerebral images similar to a dream.

When the German poet Schiller wanted to be creative, he adhered to the smell of apple, he used to preserve rotten apple in his office to establish the voluptuous relationship between him and the creativity..

Many creative people find themselves hostages to habits that appear to be strange and amusing to others, this is especially true during the moment of translating creativity into written material. The creative people practice different tricks in order for them to explode their inner energy and activate their thoughts.

Some of them live under the auspices of addictive habits and conditions and surround themselves within, and thought it they feel that they will get the inspiration to hover over the world of writing.

That is what pushed the Lebanese novelist Ameen Mallof to abandon his family for years escaping to an island dedicated for things he wanted to author. And made the Algerian writer Ahlam Mustghnemi to change her telephone number, live in isolation, then travel to a new country where no one knows her so she can be saved by her novel "Bed crossing"

Those that are concerned about these rituals consider them unorthodox, the creative person seizes the moment to get out the real motive behind the idea that is causing the crazy condition in order to snatch himself from the prevailing anxiety that precedes writing.

Some psychologists classify writing as if it is " cerebral action" and see it for many as " a saving action from a deadly melancholy" . In a dossier published in the French magazine " Leer" , the psychoanalyst Christopher Andrea, confirms about the writing rituals amongst the creative and the Maestro that " Authentic relationship between phobia and creativity", as both have symptoms of excessive sensitivity, as writing on one hand is a success and on the other is a failure.

Failure insofar as to adapt to the performance, and success in finding a suitable alternative. And in this sequence, the writer Fakhri Kawar confirms that writing the story necessitates a place outside ones home if it is available, however, if it isn't then writing begins after all the family members go to sleep.

I shut the television set off, and the radio off, and then try to reach to the highest degree of silence. Fakhri stated. He adds, the writer love for attentiveness, precision, makes us lean towards slow careful thinking in every word, in every expression, and in every discussing sentence, and in every stand.

He points out that writing the newspaper article takes place during a period of television broadcast, during the presence of a guest, or during answering the phone : "We don't feel the pressure of writing newspaper article the same way we feel it when we write a novel" there is a vast area or long distance between creative work and journalistic work.

The narrator Jamilah Amayreh professes that for every writer "a special mood" that imposes itself and its conditions on its owner, she finds in quiet and in isolationism important conditions to fashion her creativity. According to Amayreh, " all the seasons before creativity are the same" but she is content with writing in the early morning, and defers any creative work for that time.

The novelist Hashem Gharaybeh confirms that he writes whenever he finds desire for writing, without putting himself in any particular ambiance or specific rituals. He prefers to translate his creative work sitting by the kitchen table, especially during winter season, as the coffee and tea requirements are within reach, and the place is warm, and he adds music as a permanent companion in the house. In that type of atmosphere, I'm able to write much more effectively. Commonly, Gharaybeh writes his thoughts or ideas that quickly dissipate on a note paper, it could go away but he quickly retrieves them. Ten years ago, Gharaybeh used to have penchant for writing with a pencil on yellow paper, according to him, but after using the computer he started using the paper utensils for notes only.

I don't get discouraged by interruption, noise, muddling, and my thoughts don't get downgraded and I continue with it irrespective of the outside influences. He confesses that his production in winter is more than in the summer, I don't know why. He clarifies. It is possible that winter gives me the warmth and inspiration to write, and its long nights gives me enough time to contemplate.


The following is the original Arabic text, it was published in today's edition of Alghad newspaper. 2/28/2006.


طقوس الإبداع لدى الأدباء والفنانين: استحضار الإلهام بطرق غرائبية أقرب إلى الجنون
28/2/2006

كوكب حناحنة
عمّان- كان الروائي الأميركي مارك توين يبحث عن سرير قبل أن يبدأ الكتابة، وكان يعد السرير حالة خاصة تتمثل فيه الصور العقلية الشبيهة بالحلم، في حين التصق الابداع لدى الشاعر الألماني شيلر برائحة التفاح وكان يحتفظ بتفاح متعفن في مكتبه لاقامة تلك العلاقة الحسية بينه وبين الإبداع.
ويجد الكثير من المبدعين أنفسهم أسرى عادات قد تبدو بالنسبة لسواهم غريبة وطريفة، وخصوصا لحظة ترجمة الإبداع على الورق، إذ يمارس المبدعون حيلا مختلفة في سبيل تفجير طاقاتهم الداخلية وتنشيط افكارهم.
ومن هؤلاء من يعيش في كنف عادات أدمنها وشروط أحاط نفسه بها يتلمس من خلالها حالات من الإلهام للتحليق في عالم الكتابة. وهذا ما دفع الروائي اللبناني أمين معلوف ليهجر عائلته سنوات هاربا إلى جزيرة نائية ينقطع فيها للتأليف، وجعل الكاتبة الجزائرية أحلام مستغانمي تغير أرقام هواتفها وتتقوقع في عزلتها ثم تقرر السفر إلى بلد جديد لا يعرفها فيها احد كي تنجو بروايتها "عابر سرير".
ويصف مهتمون هذه الطقوس بأنها تعبير عن ظروف غير تقليدية، يسرق فيها المبدع من حالة الجنون الدافع الحقيقي للفكرة لينزع حالة القلق التي تسيطر عليه قبل الكتابة.
ويصنف بعض الأطباء النفسيين الكتابة على انها "فعل عصابي" ويرون انها للكثيرين "فعل إنقاذ من سوداوية قاتلة".
ويؤكد المحلل النفسي كريستوف اندريه في ملف نشرته مجلة "لير" الفرنسية عن طقوس الكتابة عند المبدعين والفنانين ان "العلاقة وثيقة بين الابداع والفوبيا"، كما أن الاثنين من عوارض الحساسية المفرطة، "فالكتابة هي من ناحية فشل ومن ناحية أخرى نجاح. إنها دليل فشل في التكيف مع الفعل ونجاح في ايجاد التعويض المناسب".
وفي هذا السياق، يؤكد الكاتب فخري قعوار بأن كتابة القصة تحتاج إلى مكان خارج المنزل اذا كان متوفرا، واذا لم يتوفر فالكتابة عنده تبدأ بعد نوم أفراد الأسرة كافة، وأثناء ذلك "أغلق شاشة التلفزيون والمحطة الاذاعية، وأحاول الوصول إلى أعلى درجات الصمت".
ويزيد" إلا أن محبة الكاتب للدقة والمواظبة على سلامة الشخصيات والوقائع، تجعلنا نميل الى التباطؤ والتفكير في كل كلمة وفي كل عبارة وفي كل جملة حوارية وفي كل موقف.
ويشير إلى أن كتابة المقالة الصحافية تحدث أحيانا بوجود أحد الضيوف وأثناء البث التلفزيوني، وأثناء الرد على الهاتف، إذ "لا نشعر أن كتابة المقالة تحتاج لمثل هذا التركيز الذي تتطلبه كتابة القصة، لأن الفرق بين العمل الإبداعي والعمل الصحافي يكاد يكون بينهما مساحة شاسعة أو مسافة طويلة".
وتقر القاصة جميلة عمايرة بـ "أن لكل كاتب مزاجا خاصا" يفرض حالته وشروطه على صاحبه. وتجد في العزلة والهدوء شروط مهمة لصياغة إبداعها.
وبحسب عمايرة فإن "كل الفصول أمام حالة الإبداع سواء، ولكنني أكتفي بالكتابة في ساعات الصباح الباكر، وأؤجل أي فعل ابداعي إلى هذا الوقت".
ويؤكد الروائي هاشم غرايبة بأنه اذا وجد الرغبة في الكتابة يكتب، من دون أن يضع لنفسه جوا خاصا وطقوسا معينة. ويفضل اثناء ترجمة ابداعاته الجلوس على طاولة المطبخ، وبخاصة في فصل الشتاء،"حيث أدوات القهوة والشاي في متناول يديّ، والمكان دافىء". ويضيف "الموسيقى رفيق دائم في البيت، وبهذه الأجواء أستطيع الكتابة بفعالية أكثر".
وعادة ما يدون غرايبة خواطره وأفكاره التي تمر سريعا على قصاصات من الورق، "لكنها قد تختفي لكنني سرعان ما أسترجعها".
وكان غرايبة وقبل عشر سنوات، كما يقول، مولعا بالكتابة على الورق الأصفر وقلم الرصاص، ولكن بعد استخدامه جهاز الكمبيوتر اضحى يستخدم هذه الأدوات لتدوين الملاحظات فقط. وفي غضون ذلك، "لا تضيرني أجواء المقاطعة والتشويش او الضجة، ولا يطاح بأفكاري واتواصل معها من دون التأثر بالمؤثرات الخارجية". ويعترف بأن نتاجه في فصل الشتاء أكثر من الصيف، موضحا" لا أعرف لماذا؟ قد يمنحني الشتاء الدفء والإيحاء بالكتابة، وقد يمنحني ليله الطويل وقتا كافيا للتأمل"

4 comments:

Roba said...

Nice :) I read that article in Al-Ghad myself and thought it was quite interesting.

Hatem Abunimeh said...

Roba,
Yes, but can you yourself identify with any of these people mentioned in the story ? When do you like to do your creative work ? early in the morning, late at night, in an isolated place ? Can you do creative work while there is noise around you? In other words tell us your version of the story. Better yet, answer the question : When is the best time for you to be creative ? Do you border insnity just before you become creative? I appreciate a reply.

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

- from The HUMAN PARADIGM

21stCenturyShea said...

I remember a story about an American writer who could only compose when it was raining. Consequently, he would aim his lawn water sprinkler at his window so as to fool his brain into thinking it was raining.

There are some excellent books about writers and the rituals. The "Writers at Work" series published by the Paris Review is a good example.