Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Writers Past and Present

Creative writing used to be an activity performed by the most questioning, seeking members of society-- whatever their background; whether aristocrat Tolstoy or tough merchant seaman Jack London. When one opens the pages to their books one encounters a whirlwind of exciting ideas.

Today's writers write not to seek, or question, or present ideas-- but to pose. Writing has become an exhibition of self. Open their books and there it is in all its febrile stupidity: "I, Amy Sohn."

The reading public isn't changed by reading this overpriced $25 shit-- not caused to question their complacent attitude. By reading something "they can relate to"; something not outside their experience but a mirror of it, their complacency is affirmed. The traditional task of the novelist; of Dickens, Hugo, Zola, Tolstoy, Norris, London-- has disappeared.

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