by Kate Rados
If you haven’t checked out TED talks in a while, here’s a perfect opportunity to do so.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) gave a a talk on Creativity and dealing with following up after a huge personal success. She points to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, where people believed that Genius didn’t come from within, but was a spirit that visited them to help further along the creative process. If the end result was brilliant, you would be humble, because you had help. If the result bombed, well then, it wasn’t entirely your fault.
Stephanie Anderson from Word Brooklyn and I had chatted briefly about Gilbert, when I told her that EPL was my literary Sex and the City. I’ll explain: I’ve never seen an episode of SATC and stubbornly refuse to do so, out of the ridiculous need to be original and contrarian. I was in the process of dubbing this highly successful novel the same title; everyone’s read it, it’s now a Julia Roberts fantasy, and the hype is too big for me to have that same existential moment that one gets from falling in love with a book they’ve ‘discovered’.
Stephanie suggested I watch Gilbert’s TED talk and if I don’t think she’s an incredibly smart and insightful person by the end of it, then, no worries, just don’t read the book. See? This is why she’s a good bookseller. She’s earwormed me without the hard sell.
The talk is below. I’m not revealing whether I’ll read the book now or not, because it’s been hyped up enough and frankly, it’s your call. Let me know what you think.