yep. parenthood and art-making can work. and must work for many of us. read the whole article by Hari Kunzru here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/16/jg-ballard-knausgaard-fatherhood-writing
Hey Kev, you hear the news?…“[There is] a long and toxic tradition that sets art (ethereal, otherworldly, all unravished brides of quietness and unreal cities) against the mundane domestic world. It’s particularly toxic for men, since it suggests that in order to be true to your work, to have a chance to do it well, you must betray, or at least skimp on the commitments you’ve made to your partner and your children. It’s an idea that has given a license to generations of male writers to behave – not to put too fine a point on it – like assholes. Moreover, it’s blind to the idea that being a father, with its intense, earth-shattering experience of love, could ever provide material for art.”
“The funny thing about it all is that literary talent isn’t rare. Lots of people can write good stories with good characters and great sentences. What’s rare is the stubborn, pragmatic thing that tells you ‘I’ve got to do this every single day, even when I don’t want to do it, when I’d rather pluck my eyes out and feed them to the birds.’ That discipline combined with talent is very rare. I’d be willing to bet that some of the most brilliant writers who ever lived have never been published, because they weren’t prepared to do the work. You have to make sacrifices and be utterly selfish. Everything else and everyone else is secondary to your writing.”
Obrist was the curator at the Wexner Center when I lived in Columbus. I had no idea this kind of thing was (perhaps) behind his approach. I can’t remember his Wexner shows very well (from the late nineties? early aughts?), but I have a feeling I’ll remember these notes and sketches for a very long time.