Studs Lonigan and Creativity (two separate thoughts)
One of my goals for 2010 . . . to blog a little more.
I'm still reading The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan and enjoying it. It strikes me as a pre-Beat book. It deals with young Irish men on the south side of Chicago, and it shows their aimlessness. They are what the beats came out of . . . the streets. Except Studs Lonigan and his gang aren't all hopped up on literature and zen. They haven't dropped out of universities because they never started in the first place. They are working-class boys trying to find their place without all the mental acrobatics of the beats. They are directionless, full of desire that, unlike the beats, they can't speak about. They are putting on tough faces. And, yet, as they layabout in pool halls, they exhibit that same restless desire of the beats . . . except for them it comes out as violence, drunkenness, and lustful cravings. The young man in America . . . always a volatile thing.
Farrell is a very honest writer, and he pulls no punches as he exhibits the lustful, violent, racist world of Studs Lonigan.
On another note, what I've discovered about myself is that I'm happy when I'm creating and not happy when I find myself in a non-creative state. Creativity used to mean writing for me, and it still does. It means other things too. Over the last month, I envisioned a couch, and then made it, cutting the parts from a single 4 by 8 board. While engaged in its creation, I felt much the same way I feel when I'm writing . . . except without the frustration. Above is the couch, sans cushions (which I discovered are kind of expensive when they need to be custom-made. Tomorrow I will contact a local upholster.)
Write now, I'm engaged in adapting a short story of mine into a screenplay, which Michigan director Jim Gleason will turn into a movie. The art of adapting is much more creative than one might expect, and I'm enjoying it.