Double Consciousness // The Art of Fiction

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.  W. E. B. Du Bois

4a.  Describe a landscape as seen by an old woman whose disgusting and detestable old husband has just died.  Do not mention the husband or death.

Alissa Blumenthal, "Untitled/Birth of Language", late 1940s 2013 oil on canvas 18" x 24"

Alissa Blumenthal, “Untitled/Birth of Language”, late 1940s / 2013 / oil on canvas / 18″ x 24″

4b.  Describe a lake as seen by a young man who has just committed murder.  Do not mention the murder.

Alissa Blumenthal, "Small abstraction (Coil)",  1950s through early 1960s 2013 oil on canvas 12" x 12"

Alissa Blumenthal, “Small abstraction (Coil)”, 1950s through early 1960s / 2013 / oil on canvas / 12″ x 12″

4c.  Describe a landscape as seen by a bird.  Do not mention the bird.

Alissa Blumenthal, "Milk River", 1940s 2013 oil on canvas 32" x 52"

Alissa Blumenthal, “Milk River”, 1940s / 2013 / oil on canvas / 32″ x 52″

4d.  Describe a building as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war.  Do not mention the son, war, death, or the old man doing the seeing; then describe the same building, in the same weather and the same time of day, as seen by a happy lover.  Do not mention the love or the loved one.

Alissa Blumenthal, "Small Abstraction (Window)",  1950s through early 1960s 2013 oil on canvas 12" x 12"

Alissa Blumenthal, “Small Abstraction (Window)”, 1950s through early 1960s / 2013 / oil on canvas / 12″ x 12″

5.  Write the opening of a novel using the authorial-omniscient voice, making the authorial omniscience clear by going into the thoughts of one or more characters after establishing the voice.  As subject, use either a trip or the arrival of a strager (some disruption of order–the usual novel beginning).

 

Alissa Blumenthal, "Small Abstraction (Still Life)",  1950s through early 1960s 2013 oil on canvas 12" x 12"

Alissa Blumenthal, “Small Abstraction (Still Life)”, 1950s through early 1960s / 2013 / oil on canvas / 12″ x 12″

16.  Write an honest and sensitive description (or sketch) of (a) one of your parents, (b) a mythological beast, and (c) a ghost.

Maxim Wakultschik Multipersonality 28 2011 oil on paper on plastic on wood, with steel frame 31.5 x 23.5

Maxim Wakultschik / Multipersonality 28 / 2011 / oil on paper on plastic on wood, with steel frame / 31.5 x 23.5

26.  Write, without irony, a character’s moving defense of himself (herself).

Multipersonality 17 2011  oil on paper on plastic on wood, with steel frame 31.5 x 23.5

Multipersonality 17 / 2011 / oil on paper on plastic on wood, with steel frame / 31.5 x 23.5

29.  Write a true story using anything you need.

30.  Write a fabulous story using anything you need.

Alissa Blumenthal images courtesy of Art Palace Gallery via Tatiana Istomina.

Maxim Wakultschik images courtesy of Anya Tish Gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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