January 8, 2013
Actually, Don’t Write Like You’re Dead

After all, Shakespeare retailed royalist propaganda; Ezra Pound was an anti-Semitic idiot. And, for that matter, George Bernard Shaw wrote about the evils of vivisection and Richard Wright wrote about the evils of the Jim Crow south. They weren’t beyond or outside their times; they were smack in the middle of them. And if you’re a writer, your time and place will shape you too. What’s so scary about that? Your parents, or someone, taught you the language you’re using, and once you’ve begun in such a derivative manner, it seems silly to be embarrassed to go on with it. You can spend your existence constantly looking over your own shoulder for fear of contagion. Or you could instead assume that you are still capable of listening, learning, changing, making mistakes, and, if you’re lucky, even of making a little money like Trollope now and then. Write, in short, as if you are alive, both because the alternative is cramped and stupid, and because you don’t have any other choice.
Read more. [Images: Public domain, Reuters, AP]

Actually, Don’t Write Like You’re Dead

After all, Shakespeare retailed royalist propaganda; Ezra Pound was an anti-Semitic idiot. And, for that matter, George Bernard Shaw wrote about the evils of vivisection and Richard Wright wrote about the evils of the Jim Crow south. They weren’t beyond or outside their times; they were smack in the middle of them. And if you’re a writer, your time and place will shape you too. What’s so scary about that? Your parents, or someone, taught you the language you’re using, and once you’ve begun in such a derivative manner, it seems silly to be embarrassed to go on with it. You can spend your existence constantly looking over your own shoulder for fear of contagion. Or you could instead assume that you are still capable of listening, learning, changing, making mistakes, and, if you’re lucky, even of making a little money like Trollope now and then. Write, in short, as if you are alive, both because the alternative is cramped and stupid, and because you don’t have any other choice.

Read more. [Images: Public domain, Reuters, AP]

3:19pm
  
Filed under: Writer Writing Art Advice 
  1. shadowsareinfinite reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. irememberdcmbr reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. thelastexhaledangel reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. beejweir reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. mandelbrot-for-all-eternities reblogged this from theatlantic
  6. wordgrove reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. ianburke reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. sheilab27 reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. nursedtheshorelinelikeawound reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. littlewingflieson reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. effloreo reblogged this from theatlantic
  12. uchicagocollege reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. zeldaestelle reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. sarahremingtonmurphy reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. jeremycunningham reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. willheslin reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Enlightening.
  17. kelsey-wanderer reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    The big movement when I was a literature major in college was ‘the death of the author.’ All the pretentious, snobby,...