Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Problem with Literature Today: Too Many Me-too, Style-Savvy Writers, and Too Few Experiences worth sharing

Jessa Crispin explains why most books today 'disappear as quickly as they are released, unable to cut through all the noise': The whole system today is not merit-based. MFA programs produce the kind of writers, who are unable to sound any different from the other - all are going after the same style-rich, content-poor output.

Some who do manage to stand out may just be 'lucky', or 'well-connected'.

Jessa writes,
...Who gets in that rarefied space is still determined by the writer’s gender, connections, beauty, nepotism, youth, or “platform.” Not even the most idealistic among the cultural critics bother to argue that the system is merit-based.

Where are writers like Vaclav Havel or Milan Kundera?
...(these writers) put themselves at great risk, facing jail and exile, to break through the anonymity. They led revolutions and then nations. They faced their time’s great evil with humor and an unwavering stare, and through that created works of great beauty.
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