Hey, I'd like to get your opinions on automatic writing whatever they may be. I'd also like your opinions on using automatic writing as a launching pad for finished work or as a means to stimulate ideas for further writing. Thanks!
The surrealists were keen on it. W B Yeats used his wife's automatic writing to inspire his own poetry- a pretty good argument for it.
It is an attempt to tap into the cosmic consciousness or whatever the hell is out there, so I am in full support
It seems to be a form of meditation- that the words will write themselves. [www.duke.edu] />
I've heard writers suggest that a way to break through writer's block is to force oneself to write- just fill the pad or the screen with words- old jokes, memorized poems, 'the quick red fox...' - and that within a few pages, you will be so bored, that your brain will start creating again.
I'd also like your opinions on using automatic writing as a launching pad
I think that it's a helpful tool as a starting point. But many beginning writers when asked to write what they're thinking about will reply: "I'm not thinking about anything." To which one response would be to ask them to write about their life, or SOMETHING which has a tangible meaning to them.
I don't particularly care for many of the results of automatic writing. Too much sifting through sand to find much of value in many cases.
From The Dirty Dozen:
* One: down to the road block we've just begun
* Two: the guards are through
* Three: the Majors men are on a spree
* Four: Major and Waterslaw go through the door
* Five: Pinkley stays out in the drive
* Six: the Major gives the rope a fix
* Seven: Waterslaw throws the hook to heaven
* Eight: Mayonaise has got a date
* Nine: the other guys go up the line
* Ten: Sawyer and Gilpen are in the pen
* Eleven: Posey guards points Five and Seven
* Twelve: Major and Waterslaw go down to the delve
* Thirteen: Franco goes up without being seen
* Fourteen: Zero hour, Mayonaise cuts the cable Franco cuts the phone
* Fifteen: Franco goes in where the others have been
* Sixteen: we all come out like it's Halloween
I was trying to find the quote where Charles Bronson says "Chicago" and Cleveland" whgen he is being given a word-association test, his answer to the apparent non sequitars was "that's what I was thinking about"
but this quote will have to do !
and then Tom Hanks starts crying (sorry, my favorite scene from Sleepless in Seattle!)
Reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live Chevy Chase interview with Richard Pryor. It's not as funny in print as it was live, but ...
Racist Word Association Interview
Alright, Mr. Wilson, you've done just fine on the Rorshach...your papers are in good order...your file's fine...No difficulties with your motor skills...And I think you're probably ready for this job. We've got one more psychological test we always do here. It's just Word Association. I'll throw out a few words-anything that comes to your mind, just throw back at me, okay? It's kind of an abitrary thing. Like, If I say dog, you'd say..?
"Tree." [nods head, prepares the felt papers] "Dog."
Mr. Wilson: "Ofay."
[starting to get angry] "Peckerwood!"
Mr. Wilson:[really upset]
"Dead Honkey!"[face starts to flinch]
[quickly wraps interview up]Okay, Mr. Wilson, I think you've qualified for this job. How about a starting salary of $5,000?
[fumbling] Uh...$7,500 a year?
[desperate] $15,000, Mr. Wilson. You'll be the highest paid janitor in America. Just, dont...hurt me, please.
You want me to start now?
Oh, no, no...alright. I'll clean all this up. Take a couple of weeks off.
hilarious! pryor is the man!
us humans seem to make sense no matter what else we're trying to do, so something oftencomes up with stream of cosciousnessand socalled word association... look at all the great stuff Shakespeer came up with just trying to repeat what an infinite number of moneky's wouldtype if they were trying to avoid typos!
If you really want to test the theory of automatic writing try this:
Use the hand you don't normally write with; (this is really important)
Use a piece of crayon ( which should be chosen as quickly as possible from a group of assorted colours
use a very large piece of paper;
place the crayon at the top of the page;
close your eyes and wait for your hand to write.
I have seen this method produce amazing results which I can't discuss now as to do so would affect the outcome for anyone trying this method.
However, if anyone does try this I would be very interested in reading their comments.
Vic, a similar experiment was held by our teacher college profs for a handwriting sample. We were asked to close our eyes then write anything we wanted as SLOWLY as possible. Amazingly enough, what resulted was usually our name, or some handwriting drill which we had learned in elementary school. The results were almost universally similar.
The most amazing thing, however, was not the writing sample, but practically everyone in the 18 member class said that they were temporarily transported back in time to a place where they had first learned to write in cursive.
'tis amazing what happens when we experiment! However, each of the steps I have listed in my example usually combine to produce even more astounding results, not always confined to the expected.
I've gotta say- my amazing results were nothing happened. (Shouldn't have grabbed the Burnt Sienna!)
Try numerology for more easily interpreted results. I have been reading my way through Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable lately (an interesting book, although quite tedious, as one might imagine), and there is a ton of stuff information about various ideas. The Number of the Beast, for example. Speculations abound. Revelation 13: King James Version,
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
Many have said this indicates Nero (or Neron) Caeser, assigning Hebrew letters, by some strange scheme, to numbers and adding them up. None of the arguments are particularly compelling, but no way to prove them wrong, either.
I have already found many things I did not previously know. Perfect numbers, for example. And similar concepts, such as abundant numbers, deficient numbers and amicable numbers. A perfect number is one where its factors (called aliquots by Brewer) exactly add up the number itself. For example, 6 is a pn because 1+2+3 all go into 6 and add up to 6. Abundant numbers' factors exceed the number, and deficient are less than it. Don't ask about the amicable ones, it's too weird.
I know, ho-hum. Still, it is of interest to know that there are only a handful of pn's from 1 to 40 million or so, 6, 28, 496, 8128, and then no more until 33,550,336.
As far as Yeats and automatic writing is concerned, I suspect his wife developed that ability immediately upon finding it fascinated Willie B. almost as much as the fair Maud did.