by Marie Marshall
Writers who write down to their readers.
Writers who write for an ‘in’ readership.
Writers who are afraid to experiment in case they alienate readers.
I believe that literature belongs to everyone, is for everyone, and that everyone has a right to its radiance. No one should be afraid of picking up a ‘difficult’ book – difficult books do no belong to any elite. No one should be afraid of picking up a book from an ‘easy’ or throwaway genre – there can be a lot of joy in the simple and ephemeral, and that joy is everyone’s right too.
I detest shoddy workmanship, no matter whether in a difficult or easy book.
The trouble is that sometimes it isn’t easy to tell whether someone is doing some groundbreaking experimentation, is trying to be clever and failing, or simply doesn’t know any better. The field of art is a prime example. I still fail to see how one can take an apparently random collection of items from the garbage and depict them in any way that is meaningful.
A ‘difficult’ book is only worth existing if it has something tangible to offer to those who cope with the difficulty, and which would lose some of that benefit if simplified.