Creative Cauldron - Tom RobbinsMonday, December 03, 2012
Loopy. Poetic. Irreverant. Philosophical.
Tom Robbins is a wordsmith and like most wordsmiths gets my admiration just for that fact alone. I enjoy language. I like the way it rolls off the tongue, the soundscapes, nuances, visual pictures, new conceptual landscapes and amusing connections it can make.
Great writing is rare, and the more I read newspapers and online media, the more I realise how rubbish, how low the standard, most writing really is.
Really original stories, well told, that delight and excite the psyche of the reader. That's what Tom Robbins aspires to and that's what I think he tends to hit. His stories are bizarre yet coherant. His descriptions so original he makes most writers look like plaigerists.
So much so that he is said to have redefined the novel and to have a completely unique voice. To have a completely unique creative voice is to me the pinnacle of creativity.
His work captivates me with the way it weaves mythology into today. There is a spiritual or mystical 'meaning of life' element to the way he approaches a story. It's never just bland facts well told. It was no surprise to me to hear that Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary and Joseph Campbell were all friends or mentors. His stories speak to the enduring part of humans, not the day to day part.
And part of this is pure sillyness. His stories are full of belly laughs. They are undeniably playful. I find them a wonderful reminder to not take life so damn seriously. Have fun. Be silly. It may not be approved of, but it just might be the best way to live.
Comedy allows you to say truer, rawer things to total strangers without being shut out or beaten up than any other method. Cartoons distill what we are thinking in private and don't tell. They get their message through and yet are often seen as not weighty or deserving respect. I don't understand this view.
I think Tom Robbins' writing is like cartoons for our psyche. It bypasses our everyday selves with a raw message and wakes our psyche up and all the while we are laughing at ourselves and shaking our heads with remorseful recognition.
"What I wanted to do in this world was to surprise and entertain and enlighten myself and others by telling stories that had never been told in a style that defied categorization."
"What I do is twine ideas and images into big subversive pretzels of life, death and goofiness on the chance that they might keep the world lively, and give it the flexibility to endure."
More Tom Robbins linkshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Robbins
Short article by Tom Robbins - The Meaning of Life
About the Creative Cauldron series of posts
The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.