Metaphysical Cities- In Progress

One of my major interests is ekphrasis, the combing of text and image, artwork and creative writing. So, am further exploring ekphrasis with the establishment of this project.

I started a new personal project where I plan to use these drawings to serve as inspiration and reference for creative writing. I will explore imagination and fantasy through these images and observe how simple physical stimuli, namely black and white line-based drawings, can be so powerful in creating a new spatial concept.

The literary inspirations for this project are Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Library of Babel by Jose Luis Borges. I read Calvino’s work twice in my life. Once when I was 19ish and the other time when I was 22. Borges’ work is a first for me.

Next, I want to show these drawings to people and ask them to make associations. No particular reason. I look forward to seeing how others see.

Just as an individual can influence the environment and the environment reciprocates to influence the individual, the city influences the culture and the culture can influence the urban landscape of the city.

Sometimes there are restrictions or limitations that are unchangeable. Other times, natural elements (be they aspects of land or genetics, since we have a twofold analogy here) are mendable and within the sphere of influence.


Academic versus Creative Writing

The two styles of writing aren’t black and white. The division isn’t so neat and distinct

From time to time, we must remind ourselves that creative writing and academic writing are not polar opposites on the writing spectrum.

In fact, key characteristics of each style are not so absolute.

Let’s look at some examples:

  • Creative writing exists in academia. Departments and graduate programs are physical proof!
  • Some academic writing is unbelievably lively, brimming with metaphors and fluidity. While, on the other hand, some creative writing is a total bore. It’s all subjective!
  • Creative writing is taken with a grain of salt, seen not as entirely reliable. Yet, academic writing also isn’t all angelic and can fabricate or exaggerate  occasionally.
  • Creative writing won’t bring you a future, many believe. Uncertainty is tremendously large. But, creative writing can help you express yourself in such a way that will help you in the future.

As someone with a passion for both academic writing and creative writing, I need this distinction to be made clear.

Also, I want to make the claim that:  creative writing is becoming more and more academic.

Not in the sense that the style of writing is becoming increasingly systematic and direct, but in the sense that creative writing is being objectively studied.

Academic writing is thus being put to the task of reporting and expanding upon the relatively recent interest in therapeutic effects exhibited by people expressively using creative writing.

Guess the two ‘schools’ aren’t in such conflict with each other after all 🙂


Proposing a Second Level for Ekphrasis

Strawberries by Ana Zdravic. Ink and Watercolor. December 2016

So, as many may or may not know- Ekphrasis is a type of poem that describes a work of art. It’s a simple concept and technique, but it is very powerful.

By introducing the element of writing a predominantly visual can be perceived in a new light. Just by observing a work of art with the intention to write about it new observations and ideas will emerge.  

Typically, writers and poets focus on a historic, external work of art produced in a distant epoch and by another fellow artist. A painting from the Louvre. A mosaic over the park. A grecian urn, perhaps.

However, what if we added a second facet to ekphrasis? 

What is the poet took a leap of faith, created some of his own marks, and wrote about them?

The second level of ekphrasis wouldn’t be about writing about another artist’s work, but about one’s own.

Strawberry (Detail)