Thursday, August 23, 2012

Laughter and creativity

Thanks to whiskey river for these insights into laughter and creativity:

"A great many people don't know how to laugh at all. A man can give himself away completely by his laughter, so that you suddenly learn all of his innermost secrets. Laughter calls first of all for sincerity, and where does one find sincerity? Sincere and unspiteful laughter is mirth. A man's mirth is a feature that gives away the whole man, from head to foot. Someone's character won't be cracked for a long time, then the man bursts out laughing somehow quite sincerely, and his whole character suddenly opens up as if on the flat of your hand. Only a man of the loftiest and happiest development knows how to be mirthful infectiously, that is, irresistibly and goodheartedly. I'm not speaking of his mental development, but of his character, of the whole man. And so, if you want to discern a man and know his soul, you must look, not at how he keeps silent, or how he speaks, or how he weeps, or even how he is stirred by the noblest ideas, but you had better look at him when he laughs. If a man has a good laugh, it means he's a good man." 
(Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

"The fact is that we are living in a time when the decision to be an artist, to continue to create in spite of everything that's happening around us, IS a radical political act. This is, I feel, quite a dark time, potentially destructive to the best and most noble aspects of the human spirit. And that's precisely why it is terribly important for artists in all disciplines to continue to create, even when it feels like there's little market and little appreciation for our work. Just doing it, and making the difficult decision to continue to do it - to live creative lives that celebrate what life is and can be - is both defiant and affirming, and it's crucially important. People need to know that someone they know - a neighbor, a friend, a cousin - is committed to the arts. Young people particularly need to know this."
 (Beth Adams)
the cassandra pages
via negativa


Taradharma said...

wonderful quotes. with the recent death of Phyllis Diller, I have been remarking to people that her laugh is what always drew me in -- now SHE knew how to laugh openly and joyously!

Here's something you might enjoy:

am said...

Thanks for that! Here's something sweet about that Phyllis Diller said about her laugh:

am said...


" ... sweet that Phyllis Diller said ..."

Anonymous said...

Always love hearing Gary Snyder read some poetry. I took my parents to hear him read in Boulder Colorado in the 80s. He is one of my favorite people on the planet.