Monday, June 14, 2010

Eric Beeny, On Reading

"Reading is a much more effective way of critically engaging and contributing to the literary culture than writing. Producing literature in any form is certainly an effort to enrich that culture, and to see oneself temporarily immortalized by one's peers and, hopefully, by an audience. That appears to be the desired result. But without reading works written prior to one's emergence into the culture, there exists no dialogue between writers and their writings. All art is dialectical and therefore every piece is a response or proposition, if not to a particular artist then to a particular work of art—or, in literature, to the canon as a whole. That dialectic, that conversation over time, designs a kind of blueprint, a map of where literature and art have come from, why they've adopted their current incarnations. Without that blueprint to inform the cultural architecture one hopes to construct in the future, collapse won’t be the earthquake's fault...."

Eric Beeny is the author of The Dying Bloom (Pangur Ban Party, 2009), Snowing Fireflies (Folded Word Press, 2010) and Of Creatures (Gold Wake Press, 2011). His blog can be found at Dead End on Progressive Ave.}

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