by Zolton in New Illustration on Friday 11 August 2006

Bugger Ipods. In fact, bugger MP3 players in general. Who needs them when you have your own party mix going 24/7 inside your head. If only there was an on – off switch. Life would be so much … quieter. But I digress. I came across a wonderful quote on creativity during the week by Nietzsche that sums up that tumultuous whirlpool of great invention, a journey surely pitted with danger. ‘You need chaos in your soul’, he said. ‘To give birth to a dancing star’. And so you do. Look at the lives of Cobain, Burroughs, Coleridge … seared by inner-passion; but driven by inner-demons. Yup. It’s a heady path putting your work out there, subjecting yourself to the scrutiny of the masses. But the world would be a very dull place if it weren’t for the daring grandeur of self-belief. Which is where ego can play a big part. And some, of course, are blessed with bucketloads of the stuff. Norman Mailer, for instance, once famously remarked that he was locked in a heavyweight title fight with Ernest Hemmingway for the distinction of being the greatest American writer of the twentieth century. Heck, if you threw William Faulkner and Saul Bellow into the ring as cornermen, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. But that’s another novel altogether (and I put my hand up now for first publishing rights). The point is that you’ve just gotta do it. As Edward De Bono acknowledged, ‘It’s better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all’. As worthy motto as any for these conservative times. [illustration by Biddy Moroney]