Novels, blogs, democracy

Eulàlia Petit@Barcelonetes is right about exhibitions at Barcelona’s CCCB–too much curation, not enough content. She says a variety of interesting things about the current one, West by East (which actually deals with “Muslim” representations of “the West”), and quotes the Iranian writer, Sorour Kasmaï. Kasmaï says that for her the novel is what defines the West, displaying a variety of paths, a genre that underpins democracy. Poetry, on the other hand, is subjective, potentially a despotic genre. That’s what Bill Gray was saying way back in Don DeLillo‘s Mao II (interesting piece):

Do you know why I believe in the novel? It’s a democratic shout. Anybody can write a great novel, one great novel, almost any amateur off the street. I believe this, George. Some nameless drudge, some desperado with barely a nurtured dream can sit down and find his voice and luck out and do it. Something so angelic it makes your jaw hang open. The spray of talent, the spray of ideas. One thing unlike another, one voice unlike the next. Ambiguities, contradictions, whispers, hints. And this is what [terrorists] want to destroy.

It’s also why the Chinese government get more worked up about the chit-chit-chatter of blogs and search engines than about newspapers, and why writers get belatedly nervous about wonderful things like Wikis.

(For Manolo, press sales manager in Blasco Ibáñez’s La horda (previous post),

Sometimes the “fourth estate” consisted solely of vendors of paper, sometimes of the common people, and sometimes all those who purchased newspapers.

Manolo is, however, more wild-eyed than visionary.)

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *