So yeah. Seeing as how this is a literary-type blog, and I have a MFA in Creative Writing, and edit an online zine I founded, it seems I should have much to say about literature. Or at least links to cool sites, interviews, reviews, something.
Except I really don’t. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with writing, and the larger literary world in general.
On the one hand, there’s not much that beats reading/writing amazing, engaging words. It’s an incredibly valuable thing, reading/writing. A high, noble pursuit worth any amount of toil, any amount of sacrifice.
And then there’s the other hand. The hand that I keep staring at, wondering hmm. Attention spans are ever-dwindling, and the books that sell, the books that do get read, well… I’d like to say that technology is the savior of all things literary, technology to pursue desktop publishing, technology to create Web sites, technology to connect with other like-minded souls, to transmit words out into the ether.
But I’m not sure if that’s even enough. Here’s a dirty secret. I publish an online zine but I never read anything online, at least anything of a lietrary nature. I just can’t do it, can’t sit there and scroll and scroll, or be bothered to print out and collate pages. I don’t seek out literary journals to buy or support independent publishers. I like to rail against the state of the literary world but I’m also more likely these days to read John Grisham out of airport desperation than I am to read Jonathan Lethem, an amazing writer everyone should read.
It’s an odd thing. And, honestly, a depressing thing. I should know better but I still fall into the trap of convenience. While I might love Rick Bass, Barry Hannah, and Robert Creeley, more often than not lately I end up reading Dave Barry, Elmore Leonard, and Robert Parker. And I tell myself, Hey, self, they’re actually decent writers, and easy to find, and enjoyable, and all that good stuff. I tell myself that it’s just too hard to dig up interesting new stuff, too hard to always search out something unique and cool, too hard to get out and pound the pavement for strong, important writing that matters.
And it’s true, to some extent. But it’s also true that I’m shooting myself (and others) in our repsective literate feet. And I know that. Yet still I lazily persist.