Thursday, March 7, 2013

Faulkner's Litmus Test

Faulkner's map og Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi
(From: U. of Michigan Library via Hub Pages)

"I write. It is what I have always done, searching for what Robert Frost called 'a momentary stay against confusion.'
     But I want more than just wisdom — every writer does, outside the most hopeless of naïfs. Like most of my fellow scribes, I also yearn for fame, greatness and immortality, preferably in that order. Allow me to be immodest: I would like to write the best thing about Brooklyn since William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice and a campus novel to rival Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. I would also like to write a play and perhaps some poetry, if there is time.
     Let me go further: If you do not want your own version of the above, if you are indeed a reasonable and/or responsible young man or woman, then literature is not for you. If you have a compelling personal story to tell, tell it to a therapist. An MBA will do you far more good than an MFA. Pursue writing only if you are pathologically unable to pursue anything else. Otherwise, consider advertising." — Alexander Nazaryan, Salon
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