Monday, December 05, 2011

Idée d’jour

It is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough, and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home; to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own culture. If the writer is unwilling to fill this part, then the writer should abandon pretense and find another line of work: become a shoe repairman, a brain surgeon, a janitor, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a bus driver.
— Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

1 comment:

Jonah said...

Brother Dave writes:
"Ed had much to say about the business and art of writing, much of it collected in the fine little compendium, "A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto)" For example:

"In the modern world, all literary art is necessarily political - especially that which pretends not to be."

or "The sneakiest form of literary subtlety is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads. Laughter, praise, honors, money and the love of beautiful girls will be your only reward."