Monday, May 25, 2009

Discuss: Pure Art?


I'm not really blogging today, though I am working on a deadline, which is kind of too bad.  It's a beautiful day out there, and I just got an email with a sneaky p.s.:  This is due Tuesday at 10 a.m.  Anyway, the above strange graffiti is food for thought for your holiday weekend.  I've been amused by recent posts claiming that financial reward is a good rule of thumb for making decisions in one's literary career.  It makes me chuckle.  I have so long ago given up the idea of making money as a short story writer, though I guess not entirely as a novelist (give me a few more weeks: I'm waiting to find out if it's going to get published well or not).  We'll see. Still, I think the only rule should be remaining true to the work. Anyway, I hope you are kicking back and drinking a beer (or a near beer, or a healthy glass of water).

8 comments:

Dave Clapper said...

"I think the only rule should be remaining true to the work."

Thank you. I agree.

the next sensation said...

A couple of things here. One, it's important to note that those who are most for 'art' without financial rewards are those writing on toilet walls--in other words, losers, in the fullest sense of that word. By that I mean, people sing one tune when they are trying to publish a book and get an agent (whether that is a collection or a novel) and often, as soon as that work doesn't sell, they 'care only about the work.' Then they believe there is something wrong with the system. Nietzsche did away with this self-delusion a hundred years ago. It's a form of resentment: I didn't win, so I switch the rules so that, from some perspective, I do win (me against the system; how heroic; how tragic). I don't see why you can't go for both--the work and the acclaim/cash. Especially because cash often = a larger market. This idea that you can't have both-or desire both--smacks of gross oversimplification to me.

Writer, Rejected said...

A) There's no name calling. No one here is a loser-- even if he or she doesn't happen to agree with your point of view.

B) You can go for whatever you want: acclaim/cash, fame/fortune, Pulitzer/Oprah...you name it.

C) I personally have decided after years that what I'm going for is the best work I possibly can. If that is a gross simplification to your mind, well then so be it. It's my own personal literary work ethic, developed after years of taking things way too personally and failing to make any cash/fortune/Oprah appearances (not for lack of trying, I'll tell you).

D) I wish you luck and success according to your own definition, young sir/miss. I do think there is something to believing that all things are possible. It's an essential view to have when one is a young writer.

D

the next sensation said...

W, R: Well, glad in addition to giving you a chuckle I roused you from your slumber. To clarify: I wasn't calling anyone here a loser; you seem slightly too trigger happy when it comes to complaining about name calling, although I get the fact that people can get aggressive when being anonymous. Maybe my sentence didn't capture what I was trying to say. I mean, maybe, to fall back on art for art's sake is to 'feel a sense of loss' not 'be a loser,' and that this 'sense of loss' results in some complex, arguably blind self-justifications, although I think if you are writing on toilet walls, specifically, you may fall into another category altogether. I'm certainly not trying to knock you for focusing only on your work now. You've won prizes, published books--light years ahead of most of us who read the blog. Thanks for doing all of it.

rmellis said...

Writing on bathroom walls might be "pure," but that just goes to show how useless purity is.

Though I do enjoy thoughtful grafitti.

Writer, Rejected said...

Not to mention unsanitary.

Native Ink said...

Next Sensation, you have to remember that W,R has a day job as a writer, presumably doing some sort of business or technical writing. If W,R wanted to make $$$, he/she could probably just do overtime at the day job and make more than the average fiction writer.

Anonymous said...

W, R:

You might want to make something of the link below.

http://thereviewreview.net/content/effort-pays-laura-van-den-berg-why-its-good-publish-lit-mags