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Zombie-like Tori Amos Muses

December 5, 2012

Today in the NYTimes Joan Anderman interviewed Tori Amos, “Tori Amos Still Wrestles With Her Muses“:

Question: Do the muses visit you with the same frequency and intensity they did 20 years ago?

Answer: They can be quite ruthless, so I’m not going to say to you that it’s an easy collaboration, because it isn’t. It’s not as if I snap my fingers and greatness comes. A lot of my interpretation of what I’m hearing, sometimes I’m throwing 60, 70 percent of it away, because the magic isn’t there. It’s about having endurance. That’s important. There are ways to stimulate being prolific, and part of that is making pilgrimages, and being open to listening, changing up the routine. Take a different route to the coffee shop to see what you can see and hear. When we get in a routine we can become zombie-like and shut down. It’s about discipline. You have to push yourself.

zombie tori amos

Recall Gwyneth Paltrow used zombie-like to describe herself and so do so many social-security applicants. See also Nicki Minaj chillin with a zombie.

Also this issue of muses reminds me of this TED talk by “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert. I have never read “Eat, Pray, Love” and I didn’t particularly like the movie, but this is a fascinating TED talk about how the rhetorical tool of external muses can be therapeutic (“protective psychological construct”) for the trauma and “emotional risks” of creative work:

Gilbert’s Ancient Greek-Roman “genius” thought experiment strikes me as similar to the dissociative author functioning of the #Anonymous movement – as if it is not the “I” who speaks, it is a muse speaking through my (zombie) body.

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From → free expression

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