Thursday, December 15, 2005

More Problems with the L-Word

I would be wonderful with a 100-year moratorium on literature talk, if you shut down all literature departments, close the book reviews, ban the critics. The readers should be alone with the books, and if anyone dared to say anything about them, they would be shot or imprisoned right on the spot. Yes, shot. A 100-year moratorium on insufferable literary talk. You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalise, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there's no bridge between the two.
The great (and unsmiling!) American author Philip Roth in an interview in today's Guardian. Amen!

8 comments:

Sharanya said...

How's Abu? Hope he's out of danger now.

bibliobibuli said...

not so great sharanya ... in a lot of pain and discomfort and just went for blood test so by tomorrow we should know if he needs to be admitted into hospital or not ... i've had dengue twice so i know the drill and i'm keeping careful watch on his symptoms ...

Anonymous said...

Insect screens are good.

The Visitor said...

i disagree.

whenever you put a piece of creative work out for the public to consume, you have to be able to accept what the public (yes, it includes critics) will say about your work.

if you do not wish it to be so, then just write for yourself and don't charge anyone money to read your stuff. then you can say "oh shut up!"


Abu, get well soon!

bibliobibuli said...

he's right about many of the academic literary types though ... who use the writing of others for their own advancement and set out to obscurify and mystify literature and build walls around it ..

and yes criticism goes with the territory of putting your writing out there ... but in literary circles there are too oftenc critics who just want to score points for themselves ... look at how banville attacked mcewan in the new yorker and some think it damaged his booker shortlist chances ...

The Visitor said...

i think there must have been some truth to the "attack" if it could have such a damaging effect on McEwan's chances. if it was merely an empty rant, then i am sure the Booker ppl would have seen through it, or any sane person for that matter. kan?

Anonymous said...

Literary people always seem to attack each other for whatever reason. Twain used to criticize James Fenimore Cooper a lot. Rousseau was always after his contemporaries as well. Their writings are still available at the gutenberg project :)

bibliobibuli said...

hmmm visitor if one is cynical they could say banville had a vested interest???

in my opinion (and in many others) the attack on mcewan was very unfair and the novel - although not without its faults - a very important one ...

it's all subjective in the end though ...