Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Tottering System

I sense among writers a fear of dissent-- of saying anything which might possibly piss off anyone in today's literary world. It's as if we're all required to get along-- that literature shouldn't be a clash of ideas and movements, but a place "where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the clouds are not cloudy all day."

This mindset leads to a stagnant art scene and a stagnant art-- a stale literary art that writers have the obligation to move beyond.

It's obvious to me-- why not to others?-- that with one good kick the entire house of cards that is approved "literature" will implode upon itself. This will happen anyway, with the rise of affordable ebooks, but it makes sense to speed up the process. Those at the forefront of change stand to benefit most from that change.

Can the literary System win the battle of ideas? It can no longer even engage in such a battle. Those tasked with maintaining the System are as intellectually helpless as dumb animals to any criticism of the monolith. They can only stare, or whisper amoing themselves, "What is this about? Why is that person saying those unapproved words?" It marks a system that's as stagnant and decrepit as the Soviet-style systems of Eastern Europe after World War II, manned by bureaucrats merely going through the motions, having forgotten the reasons for the system and therefore having no words or energy with which to defend it-- other than a blind instinct for the preservation of their positions, their turf.

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