Black Swan: Dance with Muse, or Become One?
After watching Black Swan, I couldn’t stop thinking about Muse.
I looked up “Muse” in The War of Art, and this is what I found:
Here’s Socrates, in Plato’s Phaedrus, on the “noble effect of heaven-sent madness”:
The third type of possession and madness is possession by the Muses. When this seizes upon a gentle and virgin soul it rouses it to inspired expression in lyric and other sorts of poetry, and glorifies countless deeds of the heroes of old for the instruction of posterity. But if a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.
Madness and art must be like brothers.
I once heard a story about this famous performer. One day, this performer pulled off the greatest performance ever in history. Received standing ovation and all that. When he went back to his room, he was so angry, kicking everything he could find. His assistant asked him why he was so angry. After all, he just did the best performance ever. He replied, I don’t remember how I did it!
Real art, and inspiration, may only come from something we don’t really understand.
You can’t achieve greatness if you are doing it on the side. Focus, obsession, madness.. Whatever we may call it, we need complete dedication to it. No matter how “mad” one may look, as long as she is with Muse, I now believe it is one way of achieving real poetry, or living an authentic life..
I always thought Muses are good angelic force.. That is where I did not like about Black Swan. It is too dark. But maybe so. I heard so many crazy stories about famous artists. Maybe they are not meant to make sense to the rest of us. Not even be a happy trivia.
Last question would be… if she danced with Muse, or became one…? I should definitely watch that movie again.