So, having said that much, where am I? In Alplaus, New York, I guess, wishing I could pick up some fire and confidence and originality and fresh prejudices from somewhere. As Slotkin said, these things are group products. It isn’t a question of finding a Messiah, but of a group’s creating one—and it’s hard work, and takes a while.

If this sort of thing is going on somewhere (not in Paris, says Tennessee Williams), I’d love to get in on it. I’d give my right arm to be enthusiastic. God knows there’s plenty to write about—more now than ever before, certainly. You’re defaulting, I’m defaulting, everyone’s defaulting, seems to me.

If Slotkin is right, maybe the death of the institution of friendship is the death of innovation in the arts.

I'd give my right arm to be enthusiastic

Excerpt from Kurt Vonnegut's letter to Walter J. Miller (1951) published in Look at the Birdie.

Very much an expression of Brian Eno's "group creativity" idea: that any group creates a set of opinions and goals, and that those groups are the ones who do interesting exciting work.

Ross Zurowski