the WAR of ART - by Steven Pressfield [scanned book].pdf

(Dana P.) #1



he quote from Xenophon that opens this section
comes from a pamphlet called The Cavalry
Commander, in which the celebrated warrior and historian
proffers instruction to those young gentlemen who aspired to
be officers of the Athenian equestrian corps. He declares that
the commander's first duty, before he mucks out a stable or
seeks funding from the Defense Review Board, is to
sacrifice to the gods and invoke their aid.
I do the same thing. The last thing I do before I sit down
to work is say my prayer to the Muse. I say it out loud, in
absolute earnest. Only then do I get down to business.
In my late twenties I rented a little house in Northern
California; I had gone there to finish a novel or kill myself
trying. By that time I had blown up a marriage to a girl I
loved with all my heart, screwed up two careers, blah blah,
etc., all because (though I had no understanding of this at
the time) I could not handle Resistance. I had one novel
nine-tenths of the way through and another at ninety-nine
hundredths before I threw them in the trash. I couldn't finish
'em. I didn't have the guts. In yielding thusly to Resistance,
I fell prey to every vice, evil, distraction, you-name-it


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