Sunday, December 07, 2008

Against literature, or why I don't write fiction

I think that many fiction authors are cowards. They bitch and moan about alienation and loneliness yet are unwilling to do something in the real world that would challenge what creates their sense of alienation or even to do things in an attempt to overcome their loneliness. Instead, they stay home and write books about their plight. They create entertaining scenarios, yet ignore the reality outside of their doors. Isn't it nice to be able to stay insulated from life and not be engaged with it? To feel that you're contributing to society and yet go home with your tail between your legs when faced with the opportunity of actually being physically engaged with social change existing in the real world? Partly, the reason why I hate fiction so much and don't want to write it is because of people like David Eggers and that whole school of fiction writing, with the author masturbating a self congratulatory story that has little value besides supporting his ego---and maybe getting him laid by female fans who mistake making an entertaining story for something real.

May the whole David Foster Wallace crowd die in their sleep; it won't be that much of a loss to the world.

Personally, the fiction I like is nothing like this shit.

Actually, I like poetry more in the abstract than straight fiction because poetry is actually less pretentious than the novels out there today. A page or a few pages of verse, blank or otherwise, and the meaning unfolds itself in front of you with little authorly self worship. There isn't room for it.

3 comments:

Diana G. said...

You have an interesting argument. I would like to hear more. However, the way you articulate your argument is quite abrasive. The point you are trying to make gets lost. I think many would be more receptive to your ideas if you just changed the way you conveyed your thoughts.

Chris said...

I think Incubus may have the most appropriate response to this in their song Glass, "TAKE THOSE FUCKING BLINDERS OFF YOUR EYES!" Thank you.

Chad H. said...

John sounds like a guy who once lost a girlfriend to a better writer--a fiction writer. By the way, John, no real writer would ever write "the reason...is because..."