Zadie Smith gave a lecture on creativity last week and discussed a “tendency toward refusal” and “a little friction”. it was highly stimulating. my head hurt, afterward. and i’m still processing. i think it was a call to arms. to push oneself into new territory and make a personal stand.
here’s an excerpt:
To my mind, a true ‘Creative’ should not simply seek to satisfy a pre-existing demand but instead transform our notion of what it is we want. A work of art forms its own necessary audience, creates its own taste. In this sense, at the heart of creativity lies a refusal. For a genuinely creative piece of work always declines to see the world as others see it, or as it is commonly described. It refuses received notions and generalities–it “makes new”. Sometimes this forced change of perspective provokes delight, and a Creative should count herself extremely lucky if that turns out to be the case. But she should also prepare herself for the more usual reactions: discomfort, distaste, confusion, shock–even anger. The genuinely new rarely slips easily into the world as-it-is. It causes a little friction.
what are you refusing these days?