Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's Talent?

THOSE well-schooled and heavily indoctrinated mistake training for talent. The object of training is, first, to break the person, the way you train a horse or a dog. Obedience is the desired end. The goal of training is to have the person trained: to behave like other employees. Training is the essence of the system mentality.

To me, talent is a different thing. It's the spark of life in a person's writing.

A good example is Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise. Maxwell Perkins had seen an even rougher version of this roughly written novel. Any editor today would reject it immediately. Maxwell Perkins saw in the crude manuscript the spark of talent. Whatever else the book was, it was alive-- alive with exuberance, energy, ideas, and noise. With talent.

Talent was what I recognized in the zeens of the original "Zeen Elvis" candidate. Unchecked emotion. "Raw Power," to quote Iggy. Power and emotion that smoked the page. The ace in the hole for my intended campaign. That this necessary piece of the strategy was lost early was a big reason for the ultimate failure of the lit rebellion's first wave. (Other waves are coming. After 1905 came 1917.)

The underground is a vast place. I suspect "Who" has read those undergrounders he'd be least likely to appreciate. (With my differently-taught mind I see in their works amazing things.) The ranks include, however, also those who write in a traditional way.

I therefore CHALLENGE "Who" to read Lawrence Richette's Private Screenings. (My guess is he can afford to buy a copy via Xlibris.) I challenge him to read it with his acute intelligence and review it. I'll post his review on one of my blogs, be it negative or positive, under his nom-de-plume or real name, according to his choice.

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