|Writers are being strangled|
I was recently asked to tone down the language of my short story, ‘Love can be a bitter pill.’ After reading the story, a published author, with whom I share a very amicable relation and one who is a motherly figure, explained to me how the publishers of today reject works which are too laden with heavy or ‘hi-fi’ words, since such stories, they claim, are not suited for mass-reading.
I discerned the truth in her statement. But I felt, and still feel, disgruntled at such an ongoing practice. A writer, I believe, is not responsible for the reader’s mediocrity.
Why should writers lower their quality just to match the shabby standards of the readers? Shouldn’t it be the other way round? Shouldn’t it be the reader who should lift himself to be able to read and comprehend high-quality work?
Granted, that those having sub-standard English would find it hard, almost impossible, to read and appreciate works of Austen, Dickens or Poe. But these writers are not accountable for the readers’ patchy English.
A good writer is one who can play with words as effortlessly as a Tendulkar (or a Tiger Woods) can play with balls. Anybody can produce a ‘book’ these days, but only certain rare writers can produce ‘literature’. For a true writer, his work is untouchable, almost sacrosanct! He won’t like to alter it just to please certain money-hungry publishers.
And for all those mediocre readers (the so-called masses), there is always a Chetan Bhagat or a Ravinder Singh lying on the ‘bestsellers’ list for an easy picking.
They certainly don’t deserve to read an Austen, a Dicken or a Poe. Period!
~Ritesh Agarwal, a disgruntled would-be author
Featured story of the week: 'Maya' written by my mommy Richa Singh. It is one of the best short stories I have read on blogosphere. A feel-good tale which reminded me of O.Henry. Do read it.
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