Observations on the Sad State of Writing | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Observations on the Sad State of Writing



To the editors:

Hoorah for Sara Frankel (Reading: "Tedium Is the Message," 4/1/88). I can't believe that she is on the Spring side of, say forty-five? She makes mature observations on the state of American fiction, especially short story writing. As a writer on the Fall side of birthdays, my observation is that we have a full-grown(?) generation of television reared writers who have limited ability to use the language because their metaphors are static visuals developed within limited, programmed structures. There is scant grand dimensioned imagination and comprehension. Further, their writing exists in a bland, ambiguous, cultural boredom that offers little opportunity for response that is not cloned in the narrow wasteland that is our national experience. Yes, the authors do seem to be all their characters, as Ms. Frankel says. That is not necessarily "bad." Dickens was his characters. Perhaps Homer was, as well. The difference is in the lived life.

I am a writer whose work is complimented by writers, but who has not been able to enter the sanctum of publishing, whose gatekeepers' idea of literature is a number reiteration of the dot box.

Even free-basing can not unlock a door within which nothing resides.

Thanks, much.

Gwen Y. Fortune


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