Friday, October 28th, 2011
12

The Problem with Young Writers

"One is sometimes tempted to think that the generation which has invented the ‘fiction course’ is getting the fiction it deserves. At any rate, it is fostering in its young writers the conviction that art is neither long nor arduous, and perhaps blinding them to the fact that notoriety and mediocrity are often interchangeable terms."
Edith Wharton, in the 1920s, from The Writing of Fiction.

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The Little Review, September 1916: "The Little Review hopes to become a magazine of Art. The September issue is offered as a Want Ad."

Hamilton (#122)
boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@Hamilton "And until I return, there’ll be a thread that, if gently pulled, will unleash the remnant wailing of a girl who misses something so profoundly that the prospect of its very being crystallizes all that hurts on this earth."

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

"..who overwrites so profoundly that the prospect of causing actual human suffering with my words prompts others to sue my writing program for malpractice."

deepomega (#1,720)

@Hamilton This writing isn't mannered enough. Needs more adverbs and sentence-paragraphs.

jfruh (#713)

I love how every generation ever thinks that the subsequent generation is terrible! (Hint: It's actually YOUNG PEOPLE who are terrible, regardless of when they were born.)

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@jfruh To my credit, I think everyone is terrible.

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

@jfruh – I'm generally of the opinion that people are getting less terrible. Possibly also less interesting, but you take the good with the bad.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Doesn't Edith know writers aren't mediocre until their late forties?

deepomega (#1,720)

Breaking News: Young People Awful, Old People Assholes.

CK (#2,489)

I wonder if Katie Roiphe finds Wharton's snark satisfactory.

RonMwangaguhung (#3,697)

I love it when sports stars in their 20s get "autobiography" book deas (says I, with a sour sarcastic lilt to my voice)

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