06 December 2007

authors penning to please are in league with the devil for sure

when my 'flood story' was published on der standard's homepage, people made all sorts of comments about it. one of those i still remember said something like this kind of writing serves the writing, not the reading. i think it was meant to be an insult, but i actually find it to be a very valid observation.

it is absolutely legitimate to write for the sake of writing!
especially when, had i written any flatter, i would have been accused of shallowness.
or delusions of commercial grandeur.

i am not quite sure why anybody would want a text fitted to a reading audience, pleasing them instead of making life a little more uncomfortable. i think writers should make life uncomfortable. they should make people think by being uneasy.

(just like that critic, you see.)


Anonymous said...

i doubt the validity of your statement that writers should make life uncomfortable just as much as i doubt any statement as to what a writer should or should not do, except learn as much as he or she can in terms of craft, and trust his instinct for the rest.

i think, however, that trying too hard to manipulate your readers to like you or find you shocking - while it may generate an audience - may appal the part of the audience that should be considered ideal: those with a genuine feeling for art. whether or not that is acceptable in the end is up to the individual to decide.

all best,

Anonymous said...

You are writing - or not!

There is nothing more to say about it. Writing about writing ain't writing. And it stops writing, and nothing will mend that, never.