Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lettered excesses must be destroyed

"You know, Goethe once described Shakespeare (to Eckermann) as a wildly overgrown tree that — for two hundred years straight — had stifled the growth of all English literature; thirty years later, Börne called Goethe: 'A monstrous cancer spreading through the body of German literature.' Both men were right: if our letterizations stifle one another, if writers prevent each other from writing, they don't allow readers even to form an idea. The reader hasn't the chance to have ideas, the right to them has been usurped by word professionals who are stronger and more experienced in this matter: libraries have crushed the reader's imagination, the professional writings of a small coterie of scribblers have crammed shelves and heads to bursting. Lettered excesses must be destroyed: on shelves and in heads. One must clear at least a little space of other people's conceptions to make room for one's own: everyone has the right to conception — both the professional and the dilettante."
— from The Letter Killers Club, by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.

The Argo Bookshop book club meets March 27 to discuss this book over drinks.

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