Jorge Luis Borges in his essay Kafka and His Precursors points out that Kafka has not only inspired writers after him, but he influenced writers before him too. After Kafka’s fiction our understanding of authors prior to him has also changed. Borges observed that due to Kafka we have started looking at the world – and word through the eyes and pen of the Czech author.
The matter of inspiration is intriguing, because it works both ways. If a creative person inspires some, he is/was also inspired by someone else at one point of his life. Thus the chain of influences and inspiration – like hereditary cycle – continues. But when a person is inspired from another individual, the issue arises of how to deal with this alien element in one’s art. In most cases the outsider’s influence is absorbed and assimilated, thus what produced is a blend of a single or many individuals’ influences to the extent that a sense of originality emerges in the work of person, for which the writer or artist is known, praised and remembered.
No one can deny the presence of other in his creative output, because even our dreams, which are so private, personal and secretive – are dependent upon our waking life’s experiences, observations and recollections. Hence a world/dream intimate to such extent that person sharing the same room, or even the single bed, can not access it, does not exist without our interaction with the outside/outsiders.
Art is a collective dream, and it relies on others. This relation becomes a realization among artists, who consciously try to transform inspiration and turn their works in such a way that their individuality is identified. Perhaps the best example of inspiration is of Pablo Picasso, who was inspired from painters like Paul Cezanne, Henri Toulouse Lautrec, African sculptures, Spanish carvings and several other sources. Yet what he created was/is purely Picassoesque.
Art Now Pakistan in the present issue is exploring the role, relation and relevance of inspiration in the making of a work of art. The theme of inspiration is extensively discussed by Dua Abbas and Aziz Suhail in their essays, and similar concept is explored – but using a different approach, by Ali Sultan in his photo-essay. In her Interview with different artists Hajra Haider Karrar offers a comprehensive view of how inspiration is perceived in the art and ideas of these creative personalities.
The November issue includes reviews of exhibitions, book review and news of art events, hoping that the prose and pictorial material presented by us, may serve as a source of inspiration for some – or for all of our readers across the world.