Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Authors' poisoned pens

On The Guardian Books Blog, Stuart Walton wonders why authors seem so frequently to be misanthropic.
Opening his diary for 2007 (published in the London Review of Books), Alan Bennett mused that the literary world was an endemically cantankerous place. Contrasting it with the theatre, he put this literary grumpiness down to the fact that actors don't generally have supplementary careers as critics, in the way that writers do. Review sections are largely written by biographers, historians and writers of fiction who need the extra cash to fill the penurious gaps between instalments of the advance. "It's harmless enough," commented Bennett, "but it makes literature a nastier world."

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