The arts are binary…

So, I’m waiting to hear from a publisher about my book. It went to the death panel, the last stop where one either gets a contract or not even a parting gift, last week. This isn’t youth soccer where everyone gets a trophy. You get published or you get not published…nothing.

Yes, everyone has interpretations and tastes and opinion. All those form a glorious spectrum about art. That spectrum can not exist until the work is experienced. It can’t be experienced unless it is published, staged, displayed, produced, broadcast, etc. The arts are binary at their core. They are experienced, or they are not.

Think about the kid who was the second choice for the role of Harry Potter. Do you know who he is? I don’t. I doubt anyone except his family does. It might be a fun story at holidays, “Remember when Billy almost got the role of Harry Potter?” That’s it. That’s all they got. Daniel Radcliffe’s life was forever altered by a single binary decision.

The sports world recognizes near misses and good tries. They give silver and bronze medals. There’s a final four. Hell, there’s a sweet sixteen. Even the shittiest Olympian gets to walk in the opening ceremonies. There is JV and the minor leagues, and 2nd string. Ever hear someone celebrate a book that was almost published?

So, I wait on a binary decision. If it is yay, I’ll have a published book. If it is nay, I start back at square one. The next 3rd string left guard on a shitty football team who complains about pressure can blow me.

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4 Responses to The arts are binary…

  1. Susan says:

    I’ve never thought about it before, Darren, but you’re right, often things in the arts are binary. I’d argue not everything is, though. Contests, for example, where the winner’s story is published while the runners up are mentioned and promoted, just not published. Then you can go on to tell the next literary magazine that this story won second place in that contest. Just about every sporting event is a contest, so perhaps that’s why it doesn’t seem binary like the arts?

  2. sadidy says:

    I know the pressure you are feeling. I’ve been to the death panel twice and died both times. Starting over sucks. I agree about the 3rd string left guard. Blow me.

  3. So true, Darren. I’ve got my fingers crossed and a tray of jello shots ready. (I will do the jello shots whether you get published or not, but I sure am hoping this baby goes to press).

  4. charlieopera says:

    Of course I had to look up binary …

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