And what, in fact, is automatic writing?

Isn’t all writing automatic? If one corrects a poem after writing it, doesn’t one happen automatically on the correction? Automatic writing as practiced by the Surrealists seems to have been merely a euphemism for extreme haste. Recording their unconscious thoughts in correct lycée French, the Surrealist poets were froced into mere lists of exotic and goofy images, more monotonous in the long run than the celebrated Catelogue d’armes et cycles of St. Etienne.

John Ashbery
“A Note on Pierre Reverdy”

1 comment:

  1. That is hilariously bitchy.

    Most music improvisers suspect that's how composers feel about improvisation. But composers tend to be much more polite about it. Maybe it's because being able to perform music in real-time in front of an audience is still considered an interesting skill, and few composers do that now on a regular basis.