10 January 2010

My "work"

copy of a letter to a recent visitor

You referred to some of the books I have written and forced into publication as part of my "work" when I rejected your previous description of them as part of my "career". So far as I am concerned, what one does in such bad circumstances is quite a different matter from what might be described as "work" in minimally adequate circumstances, such as those which might be provided by a university career.

I would never have worked on lucid dreams except under the duress of finding something which might get me back into a university career and which fell within the remit of the (only partially adequate) funding which I received for a short time from Cecil King.

You could say that it was "work" in the same sense as the chalk drawings of a pavement artist, inadequately clothed and fed and in a position of complete social degradation. If evidence of his ability in these circumstances led to enough coins being thrown down, he might be able to afford food and accommodation, and use his ability to express himself in oil paintings. He might in due course be elected to membership of the Royal Academy, show his paintings at public exhibitions, and eventually make significant amounts of money from selling them. In other words, he might then be able to make an actual career out of painting.