Showing posts from July, 2023

Suffering and the Mind

  While looking through a book about  Francis Bacon's paintings yesterday I came across the following quotation from TS Eliot's essay 'Tradition and the Individual Talent': 'The more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind that creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material.' I found myself re-reading this over and over in order to tease out its meaning. I think the reason I did this is because to me there is no separation between the man and the mind. As somebody with OCD, the mind is the source of the man's suffering. I then began to wonder if there is too much of the suffering mind (and the suffering man) in my novel and therefore not enough artistic objectivity - the digesting and transmuting of the passions that Eliot talks about. Perhaps I had this artistic distance between myself and my subject matter when I was writing about Afghanistan and To