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Rikki Ducornet is not identified by the tune that bears she name, but by her discovery of the self v her painting and also writing.
She is a National book Award finalist v novels and poetry published by giant and small publishers, however it’s as Donald Fagen’s muse that Rikki Ducornet’s surname is on anyone lips.Now writing and painting in port Townsend, she doesn’t complain when asked come tell, again and also again, how she came to be the “Rikki” of popular music radio fame in the summer of 1974. The tune was nice much inevitable at the time as Steely Dan’s 3rd studio album, “Pretzel Logic,” peaked in ~ number eight on the Billboard hot 100.But Ducornet to be unaware that its existence. She and also her then-husband to be living and working in isolation in a tiny French village, she said. She first learned of the tune after return to Massachusetts indigenous France in the mid-1970s. “I had actually just arrived and walked right into the record store and also heard that song,” Ducornet said. “I recognized Fagen’s voice immediately and heard mine name. Ns thought, ‘Wow, that is amazing.’”Turns out Fagen actually provided Ducornet his number, she said. Both had actually attended Bard College, however she walk not understand him well. “We were just intrigued by one another.”Fagen, in a 1985 interview v “Musician” magazine, stated Rikki to be a mrs he’d had a to like on in college. The track was thus an ode to the one that got away.Ducornet evaluate Fagen’s music.“I visited all their shows,” she said. “They were performing in ~ a place dubbed the Red Barn and also they were spectacular. Fagen to be spectacular. You could tell the power was for sure extraordinary and wildly powerful.”The one member the the group who did no stand the end to Ducornet was Chevy Chase, she said, who was the drummer for the band at the time. “I wasn’t impressed by Chevy’s drumming.”For plenty of years, the song followed Ducornet around, popping up in arbitrarily places. To her, the song is a zen koan, or puzzle, she said.“Don’t lose that number was favor don’t shed yourself. The funny point is, there was a duration where ns couldn’t walk to an airport or right into a sushi restaurant without hearing the song. Often it would happen at moment of feeling really lost, like I was losing my way.”It was in her art, Ducornet said, wherein she would discover herself.Transdisciplinary artistDucornet said her work is man by an attention in nature, Eros, abusive authority, subversion and also the transcendent capacities that the an innovative imagination.“I have been haunted by the trouble of angry all mine life, which way I am engaged in politics. I am yes, really interested in the abuse of authority. So i have encountered the holocaust, the inquisition and also facsism. I have been wanting always to find ways to make that engaging.”Ducornet’s novels are published in end a dozen languages, and also her paintings showed internationally, including most newly in conjunction through “Wounded Galaxies” at the college of Indiana in 2018, in ~ the Dox centre for contemporary Art: “I Welcome,” exhibit because that Amnesty global in Prague in 2018 and also at the national Library of Costa Rica in 2016.Ducornet has actually authored nine novels, collection of essays, short fiction and poetry. Her work has actually received The Bard college Arts and also Letters Award, The Lannan literary Award because that Fiction and an Academy award in Literature.Her 1993 novel, “The Jade Cabinet,” was a finalist for The National publication Critics one Award. She has likewise been a tenured Writer in Residence at both Denver University and the college of Louisiana, a Visiting Hurst Professor in ~ Washington University, St. Louis, and also a Visiting Lecturer in ~ the college of Trento, Italy.In harbor Townsend, woodcarver Suzzanne Stangel and also a slew of other artists consider Ducornet a great mentor and muse.“Rikki is an extremely imaginative artist and writer,” Stangel said. “Her arts is sensual and otherworldly. She is infinite encouraging as soon as it concerns artists.”While Ducornet has certainly made a surname for herself, accolades space not what journey her, she said.“I never got affiliated either as a artist or together a writer since I wanted to be famous. It was something i really experienced as a extensive delight and a journey right into the self.”If creative thinking is given an are and time to grow, the resulting advertise is an effective and has actually a way of pouncing come life, Ducornet said.Understanding the selfWriting, in particular, has actually not only been an adventure but has assisted Ducornet find her ar in the world, she said.“It is a kind of self-awareness and also a location to think,” she said. “I felt prefer I yes, really was learning to think once I was writing since my thoughts to be on the page and also I might see in black and white in former of me when I to be being lazy or once I was contradicting myself or once I perhaps had to number things out that were ethical issues.”Writing likewise helped illuminate the selections Ducornet faces in her life, she said.“Do i take the roadway well-trodden since it is easier, or perform I discover a brand-new way? i again and also again made the choice to uncover a brand-new way.”But forging a new path is not always the best way to breeze a best seller, she said.“I desire to write a publication that Kafka would enjoy. The is an enormous demand to do on one’s self, however there is so much need out there and also I don’t want to perform this unless I execute something the is really good and new.”With her first novel, “The Stain,” Ducornet uncovered a receptive audience in England.“That book was taken on in London immediately,” she said. “It acquired an substantial amount the attention. I was really lucky. I had the appropriate readers.”In other words, eccentric, she said.Ducornet’s eccentric nature - her home is decorated with art from about the world and also she delights in Turkish coffee - was promoted from a young age.Her mom was very artistic, she said, and also helped Ducornet flourish her imagination.“I think in fact every boy is wired to it is in an artist. The an innovative imagination is for sure essential, not only for our delight in the world yet our survival, since it’s a place of intuition, experiment, fearlessness, playfulness, discovery and also curiosity.”Ducornet passed follow me the an imaginative spark to her son, Jean-Yves Ducornet, who wrote and arranged “Hoy Es Adios,” a song recorded by Santana in 2002.Ducornet worries modern American culture has great disdain for the imagination, she said, and perhaps also fears it since it deserve to be a destination for acute subversion.“It is a location where we deserve to invent the civilization again and also again and also confront the things that are not functioning for united state - perhaps gaining in our way, to reduce us and also making us unhappy.”Having taught both an imaginative writing and painting, Ducornet claimed she has encountered a recurring phenomenon.“Very talented world often are blocked because of what they have actually been told as children, that somehow this is narcissistic or a garbage of time and also even anti-social.”That may come with the territory, since an imaginative work is miscellaneous one go in privacy, Ducornet said. “Very often we do should close the door.”Such an plot does no come indigenous a place of rage or rejection, but is instead part of the voyage, Ducornet said.“It is a genuine adventure the the self.”Rigor and imaginationWriting a novel take away a liberal lot of rigor and also imagination, Ducornet said.“You need to be insanity imaginative and daring and fearless. But you’ve obtained to be rigorous.”That contains both advertise the envelope that what can be achieved and learning to self-edit, she said.“You have to learn to go over and through it again and also again till it is simply the means it must be. You need to take out everything that is boring. The has acquired to keep sparking.”The best way to begin is through no buildup, Ducornet said.“What if the starts on fire and you keep that fire burning? then the demands are enormous. You have actually upped her ante and have to keep being hot.”While a challenge, the procedure is thrilling, Ducornet said.“Why carry out it if you are bored? Why carry out that to yourself? Life is also short.”That approach may not appeal to all readers, however that isn’t the point, Ducornet said.“I number if the book is an excellent enough the will discover its readers. I have never thought of softening things for people. But, I have actually realized over there are ways of composing that will interact a reader so they will trust you and also stay v you.”One pathway to such success is with the use of black color humor, Ducornet said.“The composing quickens so you room taken, somehow, through this buoyancy that is all in the language so you can handle listening to the voice that a French Nazi.”So, did Rikki shed that number?Back to the question at hand, Ducornet provided the scoop ~ above what she did through Fagen’s number.“I to be married and also pregnant through my son,” she said. “I shed it. I behaved myself.”For more about Ducornet’s works, visitrikkiducornet.com