Leave the writing to writers

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"It's useful to keep in mind that any aspiring writer is probably also a hungry, agressive reader as well and will have absorbed a tremendous amount of literary history and literary culture."

I don't know about you but i don't think this is a completely true statement. I do believe that many writers out there have an extensive background in literature and have read many of the classics. I do believe that it has made them a better writer. Did you ever read a book, and after you have finished it, thought to yourself... "That book was horrible." I have had a few experiences like that. If an author truly has a background in reading other books as well as literary culture, then they should know what kind of writing topics and style people really enjoy.

These days if you are a celebrity you can pretty much write a book. Naomi Campbell (model) recently wrote a book entitled "Swan". Martina Navratilova (famous tennis player) also recently wrote a mystery book about an ex tennis star. Let's not forget about Fabio now. He is now into writing his own romance novels. So all of these "celebrities" are writing books and trying to make it as an author..Are they very knowledgeable of literature? Sometimes i think people need to just stay in a certain profession and leave the writing to the writers. 

Link back to the class website: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/02/foster_how_to_read_literature_2/

1 Comments

Christopher Dufalla said:

I too have read books that I find to be quite unenjoyable. But does that mean that it is a bad work of literature? In high school, I read Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities",and I found it to be awfully dull, unrealistic, and dragging (my apologies to those of you who might have read the book and enjoyed it). While Dickens spent numerous pages describing a scene to mind-numbing detail, relating almost every character in England within about two degrees of separation with almost every character in France, and taking a long time to get to his point, I found that his deeper meaning was very interesting. I will say that I did like the tension that he managed to create and the ideas of human decency and mercy that he displayed as subject to change at any moment.

Now that I have rambled on about that, what point am I trying to make? A work of literature does not need to be particularly marvelous in order to gain some insight, ideal, and/or aspect from it. Writers have different tastes, just like readers. There's a reason why Stephen King doesn't write romance novels.

That being said, I agree with your point that some people should just stick to what it is that they do best (like Fabio posing for novel covers instead of writing novels), but writers don't always please everyone. As Bill Cosby said, "Failure is trying to please everyone."

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