Write...or Die Trying

I used to work in a factory. Now I work in an office. Either way, my writing was dying. So now I must: Write...or Die Trying.

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Literary "Censorship"

There's an interesting e-book over on holtuncensored.com. Although I disagree with the notion that society (not government) actually exercise real censorcism through their own personal choices of what they will tolerate or not by voting with their checkbooks, the study of authors and their controversial works contain great insight into the turbulent and sometimes pernicious relationship an author has with their readers.

Here's the link: Literary Lynching.

What bothers me most about throwing around the word "censorship" is that great deference is given to the writer, while the reader is painted in broad strokes with the brush of ignorant bigotry. I'm a reader, as well as a writer, so I reject that notion entirely. So what if people choose what they like and don't like, even if those decisions are poorly made? As an artist, my job is to paint the pictures in my head using the palette of techniques I have the ability and desire to master. I can be as wrong in my judgement of the human condition as a reader, having misread me, can be about what that portrayal means. In the end, I have every right to be "censored" if I misrepresent the truth.

I'm not suggesting that writers aren't sometimes treated unfairly by a populace of readers that don't "get it." But if the writer is truly an artist, then that shouldn't matter. If they've presented a truth, whether or not people want to see it, such a thing can stand on its own two feet. If it is a truth, then I can't add to it or subtract from it. It is simply what it is: a truth.

1 Comments:

At 8/11/2004 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Thanks for that link to "Literary Lynching." I read the introduction, and agree with your concerns. Deplorable as it might be to suffer or witness the witch hunt of an author by ordinary citizens, I am wary of calling that censorship. I'd have to read the whole book before making a considered, final judgement, however. And that's what I plan to do: read the whole thing, little by little.

 

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