Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Standardization of American Fiction

Once upon a time, until roughly 60 years ago, those born to write,
lovers of reading, blessed with talent, embarked on this journey of the
mind in isolation. When in trouble, because that journey is fraught with
obstacles and pitfalls, they sought out other writers to share the agony
and the ecstasy, the hopes and the uncertainty, drawing knowledge from
the giants of the past who had paved the way, searching for hints to woo
and conquer that ultimate bride - THE READER. Once the fledgling novel
was hatched it was sought out by or handed over to publishers big or
small who cared, many had a vision. They took the new-born novel and ran
with it, along a lengthening path into the welcoming readership.

That path was bombed, made impassible. Now those born to write, lovers
of reading, blessed with talent are processed by those who teach to
write, who dictate the rules of 'how to' and 'when to, and 'what not
to'. An art form has turned into an academy. Writes the
" The academy is ruled by 'theorists' who consider
their work superior to the literature they deconstruct, and moreover
they have no interest in contemporary literature." And to finish the
newborn novel off, again writes " As for conglomerate
publishing, the decision makers wouldn't know great literature if it hit
them in the face." And last but not least, the coup de grace, same
source "And the mainstream reviewing establishment (which is crumbling
by the minute) validates their choices with fatuous accolades,
recruiting mediocre writers to blurb (review) them."

Want to know my personal opinion? WRITERS UNITE.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Often Art Succeeds Where All Else Fails

Once upon a time, alas by now a long time ago, when Gypsies or to be
correct the Roma people where still allowed to follow the nomadic lives
of their choice, there were those afraid of and maligning, rightly or
wrongly, strangers who entered their settled lives. But much stronger
than the prejudice against the Roma outsiders, were perceptions of
freedom and romanticism they inspired. Great writers depicted their
lives with love and longing: Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dumas, Marquez, and on
and on. But as the last of their ancient treks were barred and they were
pushed more and more into subhuman poverty and isolation, with their
freedom they soon lost their romantic sheen, leaving nothing but
misconceptions, lack of empathy, and downright racial hatred. By
contrast I have never met a person who personally knows the Roma people,
and who hates them and/or still harbors these misconceptions.

To reverse the increasingly one-sided negative image of this ancient
ethnic minority, I feel art is starting to play a dominant role. Fashion
shows with beautiful Roma women showing off their colorful and fluid
attires, movie and documentary film makers are and have been entering
the day-to-day of their lives and art. More than fifteen years ago, I
started research on my novel Dosha, flight of the Russian Gypsies. A lot
of my material came from the Russian Gypsy writer Mateo Maximoff, for
the rest I prayed that God give me the power to do justice to their
harmonious and rich culture. When I started, Gypsies in Western Europe
lived mostly in harmony within the majority that surrounded them. Then I
merely wanted to reveal the reality behind the myth. Now that an
economic downturn has stirred up renewed and deadly persecutions, I hope
my novel will highlight the inhumanity of their persecutors. Once again
humans are persecuting and killing fellow humans, the very act that
originally decided Gypsies to keep moving into the sanctity of nature,
and thereby remain outsiders to the human killer fields.