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Lydia Millet Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 10.19.11

"Typically my writing prompt is nothing fancy—just your basic same old, same old. Fear of death. Every now and then another impression does filter in. Recently I’ve noticed the mostly abstract paintings of Dimitri Kozyrev, a Russian American who lives near me in Arizona. Several things are to like in his work: its lack of doubt, its power of mood, its perfect composition. Kozyrev is rigorous and I admire rigor in all undertakings. He’s also subtle, and his work has the immovable but infinitely possible quality of most great art: It’s definite but not defined, might be one way to put it. It contains sadness, to me mostly through color, but the sadness is a broad gesture, the sadness of multitudes. Looking at his paintings makes me think and not think simultaneously, a state of being to which I aspire. I consider the possibility of drawing conclusions from the work, and I dismiss that possibility; happily this rejection has brought me into the presence of the unsayable, and in the task of my own work it’s the unsayable that wants to brim from everything.”
Lydia Millet, author of Ghost Lights (Norton, 2011)

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