Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Happened to Good Writing?

Call me old fashioned if you must, but seriously, what happened to good writing? I'm not talking of Elizabethian verse or Victorian verbosity or political prolixity from the likes of Churchill. I mean elegant prose that flows naturally straight from the writer's mind. The kind reminescent of Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Morrison and Buck. What happened to writers who could paint pictures , more enthralling than a digitally enhanced cinematic masterpiece, with words as commonplace as 'bread and butter' ?
In earlier entries I mentioned something about saying less through words and more through images. Apparently, Steinbeck had no need for anything more tangible than his imagination, memories and a few inputs from historical sources when he wrote 'East of Eden'. The California valley breathes with life , deeper and deeper as the pages turn. Marquez's Macondo in 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' belies the hard hitting fact that it is indeed a fictitious town.
The haunting picture of a ghetto in Toni Morrison's 'Love' and the moving preface are a far cry from the expletive ridden 'masterpieces' of more 'progressive' writers. The more recent event of the plagarism of chick-lit, has brought to light the sheer derth of good writing.
The lack of good writing is, in my opinion, has nothing to do with living in the world of instant noodles. It only reflects the degradation of human beings into machines. If you still think I'm old fashioned chew on this : in probably a decade or two, the most torrid 'Mills and Boon' novel (with and without euphemisms) will be laden with the romanticism of an instructional manual for a home security system. When that happens, call me, we might just get along !

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