Friday, January 04, 2013

Amateurs …

 A Commonplace Blog: It’s not my New Year. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Blogging is not merely an amateur’s medium. It is a dissent from the professionalization of literature, where professionalization is represented by English departments and creative writing workshops and print magazines and large publishing houses which are subsidiaries of even larger conglomerates. What Jacques Barzun calls the professional’s fallacy (namely, the superstition that understanding is identical with professional practice) has transformed the institutions of literacy into closed shops. If you’re not employed in the literature racket, you might as well, in literary terms, not exist.
Many years ago (and I've mentioned this before), Van Wyck Brooks deplored the disappearance of amateurism in literature. He pointed out that the amateur does what he does con amore — for the love of it.

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