{ art & other musings }


Monday, January 11, 2010

Hubert Selby Jr. (Cubby)

"I would replace 'the american dream' with a quest for the VISION of life...and a vision transcends dreams. Dreams can come from the ego. Vision comes from the spirit. And instead of striving to 'get', to believe that you can achieve anything through 'getting', I would stress that fact that life is not getting, life is GIVING and you never know what you have to give until you're in the process of giving it away and when you make that commitment, you will find within yourself all the infinite resources necessary to fulfill your commitment to life and you can end up making money doing it and get all the 'stuff' and everything, But as a result, not a goal."

"Sometimes we have the absolute certainty that there's something inside us that's so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won't be able to stand looking at it. But it's when we're willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel."

"Being an artist doesn't take much, just everything you got. Which means, of course, that as the process is giving you life, it is also bringing you closer to death. But it's no big deal. They are one and the same and cannot be avoided or denied. So when I totally embrace this process, this life/death, and abandon myself to it, I transcend all this meaningless gibberish and hang out with the gods. It seems to me that that is worth the price of admission."

"What I have done is put all the energy I possibly can into the perfection of my art and so when you do that you're involved with creation and the eternal now of life, so it would have to be pertinent to any period of life."

"I understood that the primary responsibility of the artist is to be free of the human ego. And I don't have the right to impose myself between the work and the reader, so I worked very hard to get me out of the book. And I write by ear. So music is very important to me, so I have to develop a style of writing, a typography, that reflects what I hear and I have to find the right words to describe what I see and what I feel. And what I want to do is put the reader through an emotional experience which means that I have to experience every emotion that I put into the book."

Duncan Elkinson] Q: The book [Requiem for a Dream] is very cinemaesque in the way that it's laid out ad the way that it reads; were there any difficulties in translating the words into action the action back into words?
"Well that's always a task, especially with a good book because what makes a book different than an ordinary book is an ineffable quality that can't really pinpoint necessarily and to retain that while translating it or transposing it into another medium that can be a very difficult task, but Darren [Aronofsky] is a real vision, he's a real filmmaker, he's not just a hollywood moviemaker, this guy's a real filmmaker and he found ways of bringing this, not only bringing that element to the screen, but of bringing it in a contemporary way...really extraordinary."

"What happens in my work is there is no catharsis [...] it's just such intense suffering and darkness that the reader finds within themselves the ability to love the unlovable and I...I didn't figure out that oh this is what I'm going to do--of course not--but if that's the result I think it's absolutely wonderful and magnificent...I mean if I can do that I can't think of a greater goal to work for and towards than than to help another human being find out that the light they're seeking is just within them and it's always there."

"I don't think the word "service" really describes what he [Albert Schweitzer] and Robeson and Gandhi and people like that do--it is so much beyond that, it's total surrender of self to something divine and not like divine in the sense of a church or a religious god but the divinity in man, the divinity in each and every one of us...seems to me that that's what they were worshipping in their way and dedicated their lives to, and they have helped make the world a little more comfortable for all of us."

"As a kid I couldn't understand why we were always hurting each other...it baffled me...and when I was 8 years old I decided I was going to be a bacteriologist and find a way to heal all the pain in the world [laughs warmly]."

-Hubert Selby Jr. (Cubby)

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