Books used to be detailed works of art, hand-crafted and extremely hard to come by . . .. And the authors back then were few and far between. Today books are mass-produced, and their design is frequently held back by budgetary considerations . . .. And authors are everywhere! But have we lost something of the writing art along the way?
My wife and I love watching old black and white movies. Truly the writing and the acting in many of those films is rarely matched in the contemporary film industry.
The other day we found a new “gem” of a film titled My Dear Secretary. The plot follows a woman who wants to be a writer as she becomes secretary to a renowned author. However this comedy quickly reveals that the author has lost his edge and has sunk himself into the life of the party and gambling debt. In the story everyone around the author puts up with his eccentricities as they wait for him to come up with the next great novel. In the story he never does produce another great literary work, but that seems beside the point.
Today authors are commonly expected, at minimum, to produce a new book every year. They are not given all the time they need to hide away and develop the next great book, it satisfies society that they do their best in the time allotted to them. But what if authors were to start acting more like the artists they used to be viewed as? What if they were allowed to explore the full range of their creativity without the pressure of mass-production? Would this lead to far better books that would stand out from the vast selection of mediocre works that are being published by the thousands every year?
We need to pull back from the mad rush of our swamped literary market and instead encourage the creation of original novels that are truly exceptional.
Question: Which books do you think would have benefited if the author had taken his time to complete it?
Subscribe to get my blog posts directly in your inbox!