The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
So, we are past the halfway mark of Jack Kerouac’s Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, and he is riffing off his ideas like a heroin-infused jazz musician.
I am doing my best to elaborate on them, and I can’t promise you that my interpretation is what he meant. Some of his tips are very abstract, like this one about “the eye within the eye.”
But art is a two-way exchange. What the creator transmits and what the consumer receives may be two different things. Sometimes that’s the point of it.
So here’s my stab at #16.
I believe the jewel center of interest is curiosity. It is the eye within the eye because our curiosity is wisdom itself. It knows where to lead us, even when we think we are lost. And if we never find the answer we expected, our quest to leads to discoveries we never dreamed of.
For example, say you’ve outlined the perfect story. Then, as you write, you go wildly off course. You think you’ve ruined it, but you’re curious to see what happens. You keep going and once you’ve arrived at the end you realize that it’s much better than your original idea. In fact, you can’t picture it any other way.
What do you think? Am I close?
I’d love to hear your interpretation. Please share below!