How the Myth of the Hedonistic Artist Lost Its Allure
For the artist, though, asceticism isn’t a fad or a fashion or a mindful cleanse — a thumb of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne — prudently chosen. It is a regimen that evolves out of the need to do something unreasonable that an artist can’t be reasoned out of doing: work, demanded by no one but the self that makes it, because making is what the artist needs and knows.
Asceticism as a word also arose in ancient Greece, albeit in different form. The root of the word is the Greek askein, which means “to exercise,” as an athlete would when training for an event, a word that grows into the Greek word asketes, which means “a monk or hermit,” the sort of person who would either withdraw from the world or who, because of the rigors of endless training, might well seem to. The old saw about boxers, that they wouldn’t expend a certain kind of energy before a bout — sexual energy, which would need to be hoarded if the fighter wanted to be at peak strength — aligns nicely with this notion, one in which the ascetic isn’t starving herself so much as harnessing her powers, because power is a finite thing.
we’ll see how long this one lasts. maybe hedonism will be flagged.