Creative Freedom

Crikey Media looks at loss of definable literary schools, and the modern isolated writer:

‘It’s this business about the school: school of painting, school of poetry, school of music, school of writing.’

Vonnegut describes a lecturer he’d had while a grad student at the University of Chicago, Slotkin, who had interested him in the idea of the ‘school’ and compelled him to begin writing a postgrad thesis on the topic.

‘The school gives a man, Slotkin said, the fantastic amount of guts it takes to add to culture. It gives him morale, esprit de corps, the resources of many brains, and—maybe most important—one-sidedness with assurance.’

‘It isn’t a question of finding a Messiah,’ Vonnegut writes, ‘but of a group’s creating one—and it’s hard work, and takes a while.’

Do you think readers and writers are losing out by going it alone or is isolation the way of the future, as our cultures around the world move farther away from personal and group contact, and further into digital, long-distance, and asychnronous communication?

2 thoughts on “Creative Freedom

  1. Excellent question! I think that we are losing out as writers and as readers with our increased isolation. Just think of the ex-pat scene in Paris where the great American writers of the early twenties gathered in salons, exchanged ideas, learned, and we’re inspired by each other–we can do that only to a degree online.

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