Out of egotism

Susan Sontag on writing, from her journal (a part of which is on line here):

Writing
. It’s corrupting to write with the intent to moralize, to elevate people’s moral standards.

Nothing prevents me from being a writer except laziness. A good writer.

Why is writing important? Mainly, out of egotism, I suppose. Because I want to be that persona, a writer, and not because there is something I must say. Yet why not that too? With a little ego-building — such as the fait accompli this journal provides — I shall win through to the confidence that I (I) have something to say, that should be said.

My “I” is puny, cautious, too sane. Good writers are roaring egotists, even to the point of fatuity. Sane men, critics, correct them — but their sanity is parasitic on the creative fatuity of genius.

And later:

Being queer makes me feel more vulnerable.

Or maybe:

The writer must be four people:

1) the nut, the obsédee
2) the moron
3) the stylist
4) the critic

1) supplies the material
2) lets it come out
3) is taste
4) is intelligence

a great writer has all 4 — but you can still be a good writer with only 1) and 2); they’re most important.

Or then, this one:

The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent to a sense

of abusing the present.

3 comentarios:

grizzlybird dijo...

i don't really agree that it's corrupting to write with the attempt to moralise. i think us writing is almost crippled by its fear of moralising. so many people write stories in which they desperately try not to participate in morals or politicizing. i just read jm coetzee's waiting for the barbarians...i feel invigorated by it.

jp dijo...

i'll have to read that book. i havent read it. but yeah, i am not sure the answer to this question either. right. jp

Nezua Limón Xolagrafik-Jonez dijo...

what i love about writers is how caught up we get in defining everything. i suppose it comes with the territory, you know, handling so many words and all. but the egotism. so true. that's the part that nudges us over into saying "one" and "you," "a person" and "a writer" instead of "me" or "i" although that could probably be argued too, cause here i am defining things again!

sorry i didn't introduce myself, but who knows if i'll be back, anyway guess i should either way, swooped in via lorna dee's link. nicetameencha, adios!