Table of Contents
Inspiration and Time’s Flow
Mind at Play
Sex and Violins
The Power of Limits
The Power of Mistakes
Obstacles and Openings
The Judging Spectre
Eros and Creation
Art for Life’s Sake
About the Author
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The author thanks the following for their permission to reprint from copyrighted works.
Constance Crown, for Hands by Rico Lebrun.
Walter Gruen, for Musica Solar by Remedios Varo.
Ben Berzinsky, for his photograph of a Carlo Bergonzi violin, c. 1770.
Grateful thanks to the late Arnold Fawcus of the Trianon Press, Paris, for permission to
photograph his magnificent William Blake books.
Artist Rights Society, Inc., for Two Children Drawing and Dawn Song by Pablo Picasso. © ARS
Charles E. Tuttle Co., Tokyo, Japan, for Tomikichiro Tokuriki’s Riding the Bull Home.
North Point Press, for excerpt from Wendell Berry’s essay, Poetry and Marriage.
For M. C. Escher’s Encounter © 1989 M. C. Escher Heirs/Cordon Art, Baarn, Holland.
Excerpts from “Burnt Norton” and “Little Gidding” in Four Quartets, © 1943 by T. S. Eliot
and renewed 1971 by Esme Valerie Eliot, .
Excerpt from The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. Introduction by Carl Jung,
translated and explained by Richard Wilhelm, .
Excerpt from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, © 1929 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
Inc. and renewed 1957 by Leonard Woolf, .
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Free play; improvisation in life and art / Stephen Nachmanovitch
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.) 2. Improvisation (Music)
Copyright © 1990 by Stephen Nachmanovitch
Paint as you like and die happy.
The following are only a few of the many friends and colleagues whose support, criticism, ideas, and other contributions were vital to the creation of this book: