The occasional observations of Carolyn Kephart, writer

Thursday, January 03, 2008

If Beauty Is Difficult, Then...

5:36 PM PST, January 3, 2008

One of the first phrases I learned long ago when taking classical Greek was Plato's Χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά, beauty is difficult. Those words mean more to me the longer I live, and I considered them yet again on this first day of yet another new year.

If beauty -- meaning the search for it, and the understanding of it, and the love for it -- is indeed difficult, does that mean that the reverse is true as well, and that ugly is easy?


If you write, as I do, try writing something really disgusting sometime. Plumb your seamiest depths and just have at it. You'll be astonished, perhaps frightened, at how effortless it is, how the words gush like a burst sewer onto the page. Your gorge will be rising in no time, and you'll turn away shuddering at the wrong you did to your soul. If you don't, I pity you with all my heart.


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