“Though the mouth has hardly ever ceased to be “muzzled by the food it eats to live,” nature has always had this quaint way of producing those daring ones determined to go against the grain.”
“No doubt one has to have the conviction of steel to take such a stand, and this decision will not appeal to a highly materialist writer. The very rich who write for kicks are not too fussy about integrity or conviction, though they can be if they so desire.”
“There are stories galore about writers with a passion for truth but who under pressure were forced to compromise.”
“well-to-do folks with their full quota of daily calories, can write well but have nothing to say, as against poor folks who do the hard work and get the least calories, and have much to say but can’t write. Lao Tzu said: “Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know”.
“writers and artists of integrity are most often found outside looking in armed with their criticism … for that’s where the revolution happens.”
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“If […] creative writers, researchers, playwrights, artists and film-makers care more for how the posterity is going to judge their work and their times, then they should not care for publishers of the Establishments, funding agencies, interviews to corporate media, acceptance by ‘refereed journals’ and the so-called international awards, but should consciously orientate their work for directing the struggle to face its due target and for giving confidence and optimism to the masses”…
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“The indispensability of every struggle revolves around the collective intellectual pool … an “intellectual” is a person who produces literature – that is, a novelist, poet, dramatist or any other branch of literary genre. I think it is generally true that in all cultures writers have a separate, perhaps even more honorific place.
What are the responsibilities of the intellectual?
Writers and journalists have often been called upon to act as defenders of free speech … and sometimes have had to pay for their words with exile or with their lives. But their role is vital, especially in rousing opposition to dictatorial or otherwise illegitimate regimes. It is the job of the intellectual to give a voice to those who are unable to speak. As I see it, intellectuals are those who have diverse wisdom and foresight, who apply their intellect and forward-looking visions for the purpose of awakening society. They help to divert the masses from what is unwise and wrong toward what is righteous and the good.
Immanuel Kant believed that intellectuals must get involved.”
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“It should be noted that while one’s willingness to read is important, forging a reading-friendly environment is also crucial. From this viewpoint, efforts should be strengthened to build more libraries across the country ― hopefully to put every resident within walking distance of the facilities ― and to organize various events and programs aimed at establishing a strong reading culture. It may also serve this purpose to offer tax deductions on book purchases or provide book vouchers for low-income families, who put aside much less to spend on books.”
The “President […] has advocated cultural prosperity as one of her key policy goals. Encouraging people to read more books will be the foundation for achieving it and building a society in which all people feel happy and find meaning in their lives.”
“There is a serious academic contention that one of the reasons that Russia produced so many brilliant writers during the nineteenth century was that the structure of government (under a centralising Tsar, with an oppressive and tight circle of advisors) denied most young men, even the well-connected like (Count) Tolstoy, any hope of a career in politics. Thus the creativity that might have gone in to policy-making and progressive political change instead went into literature, as a (relatively safe) space where political and social ideas could be explored, without too much interference from the censors. If nothing else, a return to the text might provide better outcomes than a resort to war. Defend the study of arts and humanities – it is the ‘finding place’ for the complicated, messy and dangerous world that we all have to inhabit together.”
“Like any powerful tool, while it is considered to be the key to changing our lives by some, others may consider it to be a weapon of mass destruction.”
“The power of literature over communities and societies cannot be denied. Good literature is able to plant something in the minds of individuals, which may unify and form masses that can start revolutions, overthrow dictators, change laws and tradition and reshape the future. That “something” is an idea and there is no doubt that literature is the most efficient way to get that idea out there and plant it into minds.”
… “there was a time […] when books were considered to be enough “evidence” to arrest young people and imprison them for the crime of being corrupt and even an enemy of the state. There was a time […] in the course of the world’s history, when books were read, hastily devoured, then burnt or buried deep in the ground, like dead bodies, with the fear of getting captured, thrown into prison, tortured and perhaps even murdered.”
“We have already begun to forget our past and literature’s divorce with politics had a lot to do with this collective amnesia”
“There is an unholy practice to bring fundamentalism, capitalism and even politics into literature and culture. Literature goes beyond any religion, politics and capitalism. The purpose of literature is to bring positive change. If that is not done, the next generation will be misled.”
…”literature and activism are the two faces of the same coin” … “Both these elements are interlinked. The very purpose gets defeated if even one element is lost. Let us resolve not to receive any award or accept invitation by individuals, organizations or even the government which encourage communalism and fundamentalism directly or indirectly.”
“The early writers and poets used literature as a weapon to fight against social evils. But that does not largely happen now. Market-driven society and anti-social issues have hijacked the very essence of literary works”…
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“In all the academic fluff that is thrown at us when high-brow people start blabbing about the importance of reading, this is never mentioned”:
“a book is a much better babysitter than any toy, television, tablets, Xbox or Playstation.”
Early start at reading leads to a better society:
“Reading helps to keep our prisons in check. Neil Gaiman, writing in The Guardian says how in America they easily predict prison growth on a simple algorithm based on the percen-tage of 10-year-olds couldn’t read. The lower the percentage of child read-ers, the more crowded the prison cells will be in future.”
More importantly still:
“Reading helps us to keep our politicians in check. Because we’ll know what’s happening around the world, and we’d have read the historical precedents, then, we’ll be able to tell our politicians what we want and we’ll be able to rise above party politics and aim for a common humanity.”
Continue reading: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131117/opinion/A-fairy-tale-a-day-does-keep-ignorance-at-bay.495053
“Literature becomes important in arousing emotions and invoking and stressing some morality or even inculcating some attitude in the reader.”
It can be an effective tool for change.
“Why is literature so powerful as a tool for change? It is because literature is in a very reflective nature, brings about social-political awareness and guides morality of the society by repudiating societal wrongs and upholding what is right. …
Aristotle asserts that more philosophical than history in that whereas history deals with the past, literature deals with what might happen; the general probable – useful to sociologists, historians and philosophers. It is universally accepted that cognitive value in drama and novels is psychological – the human element makes it thus. Other utilities include preservation and creating continuity in the ways of life of societies.”
SpyWriter Jack King, Author of:
The Black Vault www.amzn.to/Na7QRO
The Fifth Internationale www.amzn.to/snl4w1
Interviewer: The question of combining politics and fiction has engaged a good many critics, often drawing from them the notion that it’s very difficult to mix the two.
John Dos Passos: Well, I don’t know. Recently, I’ve been calling my novels contemporary chronicles, which seems to fit them rather better. They have a strong political bent because after all—although it isn’t the only thing—politics in our time has pushed people around more than anything else. I don’t see why dealing with politics should harm a writer at all. Despite what he said about politics in the novel being “the pistol shot at the opera,” Stendhal also wrote contemporary chronicles. Or look at Thucydides. I don’t think his history was at all damaged by the fact that he was a political writer. A lot of very good writing has been more or less involved in politics, although it’s always a dangerous territory. It’s better for some people to keep out unless they’re willing to learn how to observe. It is the occupation of a special kind of writer. His investigation—using blocks of raw experience—must be balanced. Sartre in his straight, plain reporting was wonderful. I can’t read him now. A writer in this field should be both engaged and disengaged. He must have passion and concern and anger—but he must keep his emotions at arm’s length in his work. If he doesn’t, he’s simply a propagandist, and what he offers is a “preachment.”
SpyWriter Jack King || “A new King of thrillers on the horizon” || Author of Political Thrillers || http://www.SpyWriter.com