Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Literature as role-play

Many authors make an effort to have an almost surgical incision between life and writing: they continue to write stories that are completely abnormal and disconnected from their life, experiences, authority, even from their fears and desires—and it begs the question, then why do they write them?—and on the other hand they carry out their lives filled with work, family, free time, etc. They’re like do-it-yourselfers, they treat literature as a hobby, and they dismiss it as a mere instrument to furnish their personal ambitions with a little extra touch of aesthetics. For example, the academic who publishes a noir novel increases the charm of his very-respectable-but-perhaps-somewhat-sterile position. To honor oneself with the title of writer carries with it a career that might seem too categorical, too meager, too singularly devoted to principles of socially operative pragmatism; to be an attorney and a writer, a teacher and a novelist, a doctor and a poet, etc., is often the ideal power marriage in its most sinister manifestation. Literature as role-play may even at times reach a very refined level, but ultimately it’s no more than role-play with all the stories, the scenes, and the emotions each playing a role. 


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