Saturday, December 11, 2010

Should Writers Twitter?

I am facing the question, because I made a mistake
and decided to follow on Twitter an English novelist
and actor whom I respect.  It took me less than a day
to realize that his posts were, if not ruining his other
work for me, at least seriously diminishing the respect
I felt for him as an artist.

It led me to wonder if it's not usually the case that the
more real the artist is, the less real their work.  Is it
coincidence that greatest author of the English language,
Shakespeare, is one of the least known biographically?
Once the work becomes simply an extension of biography -
something to which many critics eagerly try to reduce an
artist's body of work - does it not lose its status as a
world onto itself with the power to transform our experience
of reality and ourselves?

Must the artist withdraw to let his world come fully to life?
Should she be everywhere present but nowhere apparent,
as Flaubert suggested and the great MacIntosh agreed?
If the artist is not at least somewhat  remote, is he then
not too much with us late and soon?

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