Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Technique as a discovery -Mark Schorer

As a part of my course I was able to read few essays ,poems and books which I wouldnt have touched otherwise.And how I thank God for it. I simply was spellbound and in awe for the great writers who could think so differently and yet make us feel "oh how right they are!,why didn't I think of this?". One such essay which had a strong impression on me was Mark Schorer's "Technique as discovery".

Mark Schorer is very clear from the begining of the article that only if we apply technique(a deliberate action ,like applying a formula) to the subject matter (any subject) of the novel ,only then it can be called art.Otherwise it is just social experience .Quoting his exact words " The difference between content, or experience, and achieved content, or art, is technique." To understand this particular sentence I took some time.I understood what he meant by this when he explains this beautifully through four novels of our past which have been famous yet have failed due to the lack of proper technique. 

I dont want to discuss what was in the article because that has been already done some zillion times.What I want to highlight is Schorer's own beautiful analytical power,his sharp eye and his ability to express his thought in such a clean and neat fashion. 

I had already read James Joyce's "A Portrait of a artist.." before reading this essay.But after reading this essay I was willing to bow to Joyce for his absolute brilliance in using technique to discover his own subject.To objectify his own life ! And I have to thank Schorer for that.

After reading this essay I realised writing is not some automatic exercise where you sit near a lake and start writing a poem.Writing is a process where we need to  apply ,deliberately, our own technique to bring out what we are trying to say.Of course there are people who probably write only for themselves (like D.H Lawrence) and never want others to understand what they are trying to say.They don't belong to this group. A writer must always understand his subject well first and then search of ways(the so called technique) to make his reader understand his subject. A tough task !! No wonder there are millions of writers and yet only few great writers !

Take a bow Mr Schorer.

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