Almanac: John P. Marquand on the critic who creates

INK BOTTLE“He was thinking that he was caught there in a sort of justice of his own contriving. He was thinking that he knew too much. There was no way of stilling the analytical sense which he had developed from examining other people’s work, and now that part of his mind was examining his own work remorselessly. It was an exquisite sort of retribution. He could see exactly what that other part of him, the submerged creative side of him, had been trying to do. The self-revelation of it was painful, but he had to face it. It was not that it was bad—he found himself wishing that it might have been frankly bad. Instead there was a veneer of accomplishment about it, a perfunctory sort of smartness, which made it worse. There was a veneer over the dialogue, a certain specious cleverness, but there was no conviction or emotion. The play he was reading had the plausibility and the coldness of a mechanical toy pirouetting on the sidewalk at Christmas time.”

John P. Marquand, So Little Time

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