LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Madeleine L'Engle's Walking on Water

Another classic book about art is Madeleine L'Engle's Walking on Water. I'm rereading it for at least the third time for a book discussion in my writers' group. Here are a few gems:

"If the work comes from the artist and says, 'Here am I, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve" (16).

"When the artist is truly the servant of the work, the work is better than the artist; Shakespeare knew how to listen to his work, and so he often wrote better than he could write; Bach composed more deeply, more truly, than he knew; Rembrandt's brush put more of the human spirit on canvas than Rembrandt could comprehend.

"When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the artist listens.

"But before he can listen, paradoxically, he must work. Getting out of the way and listening is not something that comes easily, either in art or in prayer" (17).

Coming soon: an actor and professor; a follow-up with Timothy Michael Powell about the world premiere of his Wedding Mass at Carnegie Hall; and more

1 comment:

Paul J. said...

That whole concept of the artist serving the work rocked my world when I read it for the first time back in college.
I make it a point to re-read "Walking On Water" at least once a year...


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