Monday, January 02, 2006

One Man's Take On Why We Really Write

'We write because our children aren't interested in us. We address ourselves to an anonymous world because our wives plug their ears when we speak to them. Graphomania is not a mania to write for oneself or one's close relations, but a mania to have a public of unknown readers. Graphomania inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society develops to the point of creating three basic conditions: 1). An elevated level of general well-being, which allows people to devote themselves to useless activities. 2). A high degree of social atomization and, as a consequence, a general isolation of individuals. And 3). The absence of dramatic social changes in the nation's internal life.'
--Author Milan Kundera

4 Comments:

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Daniella said...

John,

I think that 1 is a bit insulting to writers. 2 is more accurate. 3 reflects a subjective opinion that I actually agree with more or less.

I know that when I read his book, "The Incredible Lightness of Being" it stayed with me for a long time as did the film. So I am not surprise by this statement, I just do not agree totally.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

No, Daniella, I didn't agree with most of this either. But I too find him an impressive enough writer so that his views seem to be worth at least thinking about.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Sorry, both of you. I think most explanations for why anyone writes are too subjective to be applied to the general pool of people who write 1) because that pool of people is so large and 2) the explanation says more about the person doing the explaining that it does about the general writership supposedly being described.

It's like speculating as to why people believe or don't believe in God. You can come up with lovely theories that seem to be borne out in reality, but really? It's too personal to every really be able to explain for another person. Only the individual can explain it for him or herself, and sometimes, even they can't explain it.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

And who could really argue with that, Jill? You said it well.

 

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