Saturday, August 11, 2018

Story's freedom

The quote below was trawled from a youtube podcast advertised as discussing, among other things, "the effect that a new ideological thinking is having on art and literature." As that is an interesting subject for a writer, I listened. If you want to listen, go here.
Tim Lott: As a novelist, I've got to be allowed to be wrong without being accused of being twenty-seven different things [i.e. racist, sexist, transphobic, etc.]... I've got to have my characters express the way real people are... 
I can't just say this is the way they should be because that's the death of literature, and that's why literature and the arts in Russia died the moment the Communists took over from a wonderful, rich history of literature and art: suddenly [claps hands] dead.  
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Art: I can't find much about this oil-on-canvas painting, but it's by RenĂ© de Groux (Belgian, 1888-1953.) And I can't find much about the painter, either!

9 comments:

  1. Real people are twenty seven (and more) different things. Long live literature. Down with the thought police. Where have we gone so wrong? Well, maybe the pendulum will soon swing away from ideological idiocy.

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  2. It's OK provided being "allowed to be wrong" isn't his main aim. I mean it's bad enough when it happens by accident. Thinking about this slightly more coherently I realise I do this all the time - rush into comment when my head is barely above water. Promulgating ignorance and apercus which - shot from the hip - die from inanition as they move at the speed of light towards that much-abused destination, The Palace at 2 AM. Do you sell indulgences? So that I could pay to be pardoned in advance of the crime?

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    1. I have neglected you but will pop by in a day or two. Bit of over-busyness at the moment!

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  3. The other day the New York Times ran a piece by a former Nation editor decrying the round of craven apologies over the supposedly "offensive" poem the magazine recently published. Interesting, and hearteningly, nearly all of the several hundred commenters on the Times story agreed that the Nation editors had acted ridiculously. I'm left to conclude that the ideological Art Komissars are pretty small in number, and to wonder why everyone takes them so seriously.

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    1. I hope that is true! The correctness policemen/women/other are certainly noisy in various places.

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  4. I have characters who have many flaws (racism, misogyny, etc.) but so far I have not had a reader construe that to mean I myself have any of these flaws. I have had them say "I hope you kill that character off in the sequel!" though! But that's great - it means I made the reader feel something.

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    1. Hahaha! How terrible! Those naughty readers--they're killers!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.