Impromptu writing, whatever comes...on writing or whatever the question of the day is.
|I love the British, although to them, we Americans are too illiterate, too happy-go-lucky, and too easily aroused by insignificant events, even if they don't openly say so. Even so, one of the reasons I love the British is that they have brought cynicism to the highest degree of one polished, great art.
Sometimes, the British can be unbelievably negative but even that negativity is intriguing and entertaining; so what, if it may infuriate some. I love that their cynicism leads to excellent humor, and by being around them and constantly reading their newspapers and other work (one of my weaknesses), a person may suddenly realize that their cynicism has infected his way of thinking. Take my word for it, it does. Case in point: One of my sons subscribed to Guardian for about two to three years. Before this venture of his, he and his father used to get along wonderfully. Nowadays, when they start talking to each other, I run for the hills.
Still, I love the British. To show why, here's an excerpt that has to do with writers from Julian Barnes's Through the Window--page 30
"The Queen of England, advised by her government, appoints knights and peers; the nation at large, by more informal means, appoints national treasures. To achieve this status, it is not sufficient just to be outstanding in your profession; you need to reflect back how the country imagines itself to be...
It is hard for living writers to become National Treasures, but not impossible. Charm is important; so is the capacity not to threaten not to be obviously clever; you should be perceptive but not too intellectual. A most successful national treasure of the last century was John Betjeman, whose genial, bumbly appearances on television overcame the handicap of his being a poet. Someone like Betjeman's contemporary Evelyn Waugh could never have become a treasure--too rude, too openly contemptuous of those whose opinions he despised...
When it comes to the dead, it is hard to retain or posthumously acquire treasuredom. Being a Great Writer in itself has little to do with the matter."
If this isn't high art, I don't know what is.