here’s an article about Faulkner’s postcards/letters from Europe in the 20s. they’re up for auction. there’s an idea that Faulkner was so influenced by analytic cubist works of Picasso and Braque that his writing is an extension into the literary form. FYI analytic cubism is representing a subject from multiple perspectives simultaneously.
this is an interesting hypothesis but i wonder if it isn’t just appropriation. i mean, writers steal material all the time–by eavesdropping, mining both family and friends for material, riffing on previous written works. then there’s the news. why not steal from painters? and architects? and sculptors? and photographers?
the visual form certainly works for me. several years ago, i was so moved by a portrait by Rivera hanging in the Chicago Museum of Modern Art, that i researched and obsessed about the artist. i stumbled across something. apparently, if Rivera liked his subject he would give them large hands. fascinating. so, i focus on the hands of my characters and, if i like them, as characters, i mention their hands.
i stole that. somehow, i don’t think Rivera would mind. he was a socialist and believed in sharing. Picasso is another matter altogether. if i stole something from him he’d probably skewer my eye out and replace it with an acrid green ear. bastard.
what do you steal?