A scientist can pretend that his work isn’t himself, it’s merely the impersonal truth. An artist can’t hide behind the truth. He can’t hide anywhere.
I took note of this quote last year when I was reading Ursula Le Guin’s ‘The Dispossessed’ as it obviously struck a chord. And re-reading it, it still strikes a chord but I’m struggling to define it. Is it true? An artist can’t hide behind the truth? A scientist, I understand, doesn’t have to care that 1 = 1 and 2 = 2. An artist, even if faking it, still shows their truth. Or can a really good artist actually hide?
Perhaps I took note of this considering myself as an artist? Today, I’m doubtful, but whatever. I’m putting this out into the world as an artistic skill (good or bad depending on your opinion) but my tablet is a search for truth. I cannot hide. But what of the fiction writer – they are artists. They could write about unspeakable acts that they would never dare carry out. Are they hiding, or are they still showing a truth?
I don’t know. And I wish my friend Steve was here to dig into this deeper. It is exactly the kind of topic that we would love to discuss long into the nights and early into the mornings. Although things seemed murkier then, they somehow also seemed clearer.