Thursday, January 7

Something to Ponder

In preparation for the Romantic Literature class I'm taking this semester, I started reading The Monk: A Romance, a Gothic novel by M. G. Lewis (1796). While reading, I came across this passage, which resonated so deeply with me that I thought I'd share it with you.

  • "An Author, whether good or bad, or between both, is an Animal whom everybody is privileged to attack; For though All are not able to write books, all conceive themselves able to judge them. A bad composition carries with it its own punishment, contempt and ridicule. A good one excites envy, and entails upon its Author a thousand mortifications. He finds himself assailed by partial and ill-humoured Criticism: One Man finds fault with the plan, Another with the style, a Third with the precept, which it strives to inculcate; and they who cannot succeed in finding fault with the Book, employ themselves in stigmatizing its Author. They maliciously rake out from obscurity every little circumstance which may throw ridicule upon his private character or conduct, and aim at wounding the Man, since They cannot hurt the Writer. In short, to enter the lists of literature is wilfully to expose yourself to the arrows of neglect, ridicule, envy, and disappointment. Whether you write well or ill, be assured that you will not escape from blame."

9 comments:

  1. I was thinking about this today. No matter what we write, there's always someone who will rant about us. You can't please everyone!

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  2. Which is why we must always write from the heart to please ourselves. We must be content enough with what we've done to be able to ignore or defend. And remember, just as there will always be those willing to attack and criticize, there will be just as many or more equally willing to defend and praise.

    Cheer Princess strikes again! :-)

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  3. Awesome words of wisdom. Writers have to have thick skin. It comes with the territory. I've decided if and when I get published, I will have my mother sort through the reviews and only let me read the good ones. lol. Kidding, but sounds like a good plan. Doesn't it?
    My blog

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  4. I write for myself. I write because I love to write. You will never be able to please everyone, it is impossible. The most important thing for me is that I am true to my characters and myself.

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  5. Terrific quote! I dream of getting so successful one day that people just want to complain about my work all the time, lol.

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  6. Oooooo! That was a good one. Amazing how little has truly changed; this is a completely relevant statement even today...

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  7. Those are some awesome thoughts. I've noticed with my crit partners this same thing. One will love a scene, another will not even comment on it, and still another will hate it. Go figure!

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  8. Terrific quote. Thanks. =o)

    Funny how something written so long ago hits the nail today. Heh, and I thought this need to attack other's success was a recent thing. Go figure.

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  9. Stephanie- Exactly!

    Shannon- Yep! I loved this quote merely because it pointed out exactly why someone should write. LOL! Yes, you're a good cheer team.

    Karen- Yes, we do. Unfortunately, writers also tend to be quite emotional as well. Oops! Bad mixture, I'd say. Yeah, that does sound like a good plan, too bad it wouldnt hold up =(

    Vicky- Good =] That is the healthiest way to view our art and how we interact with our art and with the world around us.

    Roni- Thanks! I loved it right away. LOL! I hope that happens for you! =D

    Mum- Yeah, amazing huh? It both worries me and gives me hope that writers from all times faced the same things as we do today.

    Susan- Haha yes. That is the problem with crit partners.

    B.E.- Yeeeer welcome =] I know, it's crazy! My mum and I were talking about that earlier. LOL! Sadly, human nature has always been this bad, LOL!

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