Guardian article on shift from reading culture to writing culture
A lively day on social medja with the publication of my article in the Guardian (or maybe it’s in Saturday’s paper — anyway it went online today) bouncing about. Thank you to all who shared it and responded. Thank you to The Guardian who afforded me space and embraced my critique.
The critical point in it is perhaps lost by the headline and the summary (and the way it’s being framed on social medja): I am trying to talk about my concerns about the shift from a reading culture to a writing culture and the general devaluing of labour, including the labour of reading. There was a minor mutter that I was complaining, to which I respond: critical thinking is not complaining it’s interrogating. Interrogation is the tool of writers. Writers should be critical thinkers, they should not be consumed with pandering to the market, nor should they only talk in the language of the market and the creative writing workshop.
Ultimately I want to talk about writing/literature through reading, through literature and acknowledge the continuum of literature rather than provide entry points to my work with personal ditties, confessional essays or redundant tips on how to write. (Read.) I want us to talk about reading. I want to read and I want to be read. I am passionate about what the novel can become. That’s where I want to contribute. The most important thing I can become is a better reader. (obviously in tandem with being a decent human being). One of the great joys of publishing Malarky was discovering so much new work in translation I’d never heard of. I discovered this work through some of the blogs, publications and critics who reviewed my book.
Finally I remain committed to being obsessed with the weather: although my weather watching is severely curtailed these days. Right now the weather is consistently hot, hot, hot. (Had a great chat to someone who has to deal with forest fires near her home the other night)