December 7, 2007

Good Writing

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches — Katrina @ 8:05 pm

Been meaning to bitch about this for a while, but then I suppose it came up more after I was reading something about criticisms of the Harry Potter books. No, I don’t mean the Christian fundamentalist whining we all already know about. I mean the members of the “official writing community”, or something.

Eww! Rowling uses too many clich├ęs! Eww! They’re just kidsy magic stories! Eww! This will just make kids be interested in bad pop culture writing and not Rudyard Kipling! Eww!


First off, let’s have a look at this so-called writing community. Who are these great writers? They consist of a veritable cult of university creative writing professors and their favored students, good students who don’t write about silly subjects like fantasy or science fiction, but more realistic subjects that engage the emotions with stories about incestuous urges and failing lesbian relationships and filthy apartments and life as a creative writing professor. Yep, I agree, I’d say retching is an emotion, right? You’ll find these people sitting around in a coffee shop (not Starbucks, they hate that) rejoicing that their short-story “I Think about My Mother’s Genitals While Grading Papers and Watching Cockroaches Crawl Across My Counters” got published in the literary magazine “Five Doorknobs at Seven o’Clock with a Raisin Bagel” which has a great circulation of, oh, 85, whilst they discuss how much they hate Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe.

I’m not even kidding! Go pick up any literary magazine (if you can even find one, try the library of a local college) and leaf through it and you’ll see what I mean. Some of these people might have even written books. Go look for those and you see the same boring nonsense writing as in the lit mag but just longer.

Who the hell are these losers to act like they’re any kind of authority on who is and isn’t writing a story properly? My first semester at Salisbury, I took creative writing. Teacher was a typical sort of this “official writing community”. Excruciatingly self-absorbed. He only liked writing that was of a “great” sort, which of course meant it had to be absolutely serious with real world relevance.

Perhaps it’s just a typical situation of artistic arrogance. One painting that looks like a blue splotch on a reddish-orange background could be considered “great” and somehow have deep meaning, yet a painting of a mountain or something would be considered “juvenile”.

But when it comes right down to it, I remember that I like the Harry Potter series and so do millions of others, and not one of us is swayed from this because some self-important “authority” on what writing is supposed to be decides it is inferior. That a book series that is truly well done and very engaging is somehow inferior to a disturbing jumble of nonsense about drug addictions or homosexual pedophilia or whatever, that nobody wants to read unless they’re students in the writer’s class who are trying to suck up.

So those of you critics acting like Harry Potter and other fantasy titles or sci-fi or whatever else isn’t the “proper” type of writing that anyone respectable would waste their time on, get a life! The only people who care are those who latch on to you just to have some excuse to hate Harry Potter when they didn’t have any reason before (not that they would now), or the type of people who think your way of thinking is what’s “mature” so that must be what’s right. So, basically, no one truly respectable.


  1. Pffft, just the sort of writing I’d expect from someone who likes sports.

    Comment by Anduwaithe — December 7, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

  2. Agreed there, Kat. If you don’t like Harry Potter, then go read something else and stop bitching!!

    Comment by Robexib — December 8, 2007 @ 9:17 am

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