Monday, December 15, 2008
The Writer’s Responsibility
“The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is worth any number of old ladies.”
William Faulkner, from The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction, No. 12 (1956).
Note: For a nice batch of Faulkner links, see this entry on As I Lay Dying at A Common Reader, where other books recently examined and discussed include Homer’s Iliad, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, and The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. More of Chrees’s observations on Faulkner can be found in the comments following Library After Air Raid, London, 1940.
As the Conversation continues, we venture into a noir sound collage.