Prufrock's Page

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Save Us From Those Who Want To Write

In Auden's centenary year, The Times reproduces a piece of his on 'creative' writing. Acerbic, cutting, funny -- and true: "It is surely astonishing how many young people of both sexes, when asked what they want to be in life, give neither a sensible answer like 'a lawyer, a farmer, an innkeeper', nor a romantic answer like 'an explorer, a racing motorist, a missionary, President of the United States'. No, an astonishing number reply 'a writer', and by writing they mean — dreadful word — 'creative' writing. Even if they say: 'I want to go into journalism', this is only because they are under the illusion that in that profession they will be able to create. Even if their most genuine desire is really to make money, they will still make for some highly paid sub-literary pursuit like Advertising."


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