The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Monday, September 12, 2005

Addendum (1)

Not an ad. Not a treatment. The literary narrative exists as something that is intended to have meaning about the world-as-it-is (or what those outside of academe would call the "real world" (a term academics are inclined to feel uncomfortable with for its naivete, but also -- let's be honest! -- its lack of opacity!)). The narrative -- we hope -- has a certain authenticity. Is about something that is in turn some thing or some body. It is not an attempt at manipulation (as the narratives of advertising or commercial culture are) but an attempt at showing truth. A sliver of truth. A moment of truth.

We know all this. But once we've agreed upon this as a starting point, why the contemporary difficulties of execution? Why is it so hard to create a literary narrative that somehow connects to the larger (real) culture?

This is the problem facing the unknown writer. It is, ironically, also the problem facing the Known Writer. Both are trapped on the same raft in the same wild sea. Both seek some life-line that will prevent their narrative -- their precious treasure -- from sinking into the cold depths where artistic creation is buried under soft, infinite silt.

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