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.


  1. That sounds scary. Literature, at least, should be left to creative imagination, not classroom clinics!

  2. yes, creativity is now a cookie-cutter and the writer no longer kneads dough with his or her imagination - they just want to create the pretty sprinkles on top! the academic process assures this pathway.