lundi 27 août 2012

Krzysztof Andrzejcak, THE WRITER IN THE WRITING: AUTHOR AS HERO IN POSTWAR AMERICAN FICTION, Lodz, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Lódzkiego, 1996, 170 pages.

In the past, American writer-heroes assumed an idealistic stance toward their craft, ostentatiously scorning popularity and wealth. Novels featuring writers by Howells, James, Norris, London and Farrell, to cite a few notable examples, condemned writing for the market place and renounces celebrity - the perceived threat to artistic integrity. Some spoke contemptuously of those who catered to popular tastes. James held it as a solemn truth that writers who whorshipped "the idols of the market" did so at the cost of their integrity and their art, and were likely to stray "the way dishonor lies." Frank Norris saw the writer's independence as his greatest achievement. Like other naturalists, he believed in Zola's creed that the writer, being the priest of "the high lesson of reality," should not be influenced or sponsored. More recently, James T. Farrell, though aware that a writer cannot control the social environment of literature and is often forced to become an artistic martyr, still claimed that whoever lets "a chance literary agent, a chance Hollywood producer, a chance publisher to violate his artistic honor with a fat contract," turns himself into "a wretched hack."

(p. 135)

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