Skip to main content

The Writer as Conscience Keeper

Art without purpose is nothing but debauchery. Every piece of good literature should serve one of the two purpose- soothe the senses, clarify the social questions. As of now, in India, we consider writer returning the awards to a government which they do not like as a sign of something of an act of bravery. The fact remains that anything can only be returned to the one who has given it in the first place, the Akademy was constituted as autonomous body, probably has missed out the notice of eminent writers. Also if intent was to embarrass a government, they also missed out on the right target, which should be the government which failed in protecting the citizen, the government which holds law and order responsibility. 

But then author as conscience keeper of the society is misuse of the authority a writer has over words. Since I,as a writer, have a right over print space, I declare that I am an enlightened being, more sensitive, more rebellious than ordinary mortals. 

Writing doesn't make you conscience keeper of the nation, it sometimes merely makes you opinion builder, a suave peddler of prejudices. What makes you a true social light is whether you have the guts to fight war like Hemingway, to bleed like Fitzgerald, to challenge like Dinkar, to laugh at hypocrisy like Harishankar Parsai, to build your house on slopes of Vesuvius like Nietzsche. 
A writer or an artist should have the courage to fight against the forces which are impossible to fight. It is almost homeopathic protest, without risk of side effects which authors are undertaking. Why protest state for murders neither perpetrated by, nor condoned by the state? If the malaise is with society, why not fight it there? Why not do a protest with less press and more potency? Just read 'Submission' by Michel Houellebecq last week. Courage is what stands out, just as the word Negros used in The Great Gatsby, the writer uses the word Muslims. He doesn't hide the word, isn't scared of penning his fears. He treads the lines where the individual touches the society, and does it adroitly without apology. It is book deserving full review which I'll do next week. In the meantime, we should ponder, if we have people who live as fully and as deeply to be entitled to not only write about it rather to self claim the right over lives and thoughts of those who can't write well. Do we as writer have courage to live, which is the only thing that entitles us to write and take position.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review- The Waves- By Virginia Woolf

Book: The WavesAuthor: Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)Genre: Fiction (Spiritual/ Philosophical)Style: ExperimentalPublished: 1931Publisher: Hogarth PressRating: Must Read, Classic
“The Author would be glad if the following pages were not read as a Novel.” – WroteVirginia Woolf(1882-1941) on the manuscript of The Waves (Initially called The Moths). It was first published in 1931.  We are close to a century since this book was published, still this book is unparalleled and unequaled. The Independent called this Book of a Lifetime.
This is not an easy book to read. Beauty is never too easy to create, or is it ever too easy to savor to the fullest. Both production as well as the consumption of true work of art needs to be earned. This is a difficult book to read yet immensely elegant and infinitely exquisite. The story, unlike most fictional novels, does not unfold through dramatic events. It doesn’t depend on drama, it deftly steers clear of the mundane. It is sensually sublime and magnificentl…

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce- Book Review

Amazon Link 
Some books are an act of education; they cannot be read in haste, cannot be understood in one read. James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man gives one such feeling.
It is a coming of age story of Stephen Dedalus. Nothing extraordinary about that. But then there a rich, slowly flowing lost river of philosophy which moves beneath the surface, turning an ordinary story of a boy growing up, encountering questions about faith, religion and sex, into an exceptional, extraordinary and engaging story. The story moves along the timeline, much in the manner of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, where the writer is seemingly a passive narrator. Further, while this book is more of a philosophical essay wrapped around a story, Ms. Woolf’s book, on the other hand, is rather a Story primarily, with a philosophical touch. This book is blatantly philosophical, dwelling into the dangerous territory of religion and how a growing mind looks at God. It begins with his school, whe…

Madam Bovary's Eyes- Flaubert's Parrot - Book Review

Some books are very hard to classify and categorize. This is one such book. Officially, it is a fiction, a novel. In terms of genre, it should be put in the same shelf as Cakes and Ale by Maugham or The Ghost Writer of Philip Roth, both I have read this year. But then, maybe not. The two are totally fictional, in terms of all the characters contained in them, even though they do have a writer as the central character. But then, that is all that has to do with writing. I don’t think we ever consider the writer’s profession as a central point of those novels. Also the characters are out and out fiction. That is where this book is different. It is about the giant of French literary history (and now, of English classical literature)- Gustave Flaubert.
            The characters and references are all real. Julian Barnes throws all his weight behind the genius who is the key protagonist in the fiction, follows the dictum of a perfect biography as mentioned by Flaubert in a letter in 1872, …