Literacy, Revolution, and the Novel Today

So, there’s this great big book, right? And it’s in your head, like it or not? Somehow, you have to either submit to it or make it yours. So, you start writing. Ta da! Now you own the point at which the book intersects with the world. You are a writer.


And if some editor erases your ownership of the point at which the book fills your world? Oh my.



Yup, still as readable as it was when you first plotted it out, with the extra layer that now a world of editors is writing it with you. It’s just that, well, you have been covered up with paint. For an even closer view of society’s response to your attempt to re-claim your own head, just look across the alley. Here we go…


Together, though, you and the critics have replaced the other artists, writers and editors of the world. What on earth does that mean? Ah…

P1320689Everything is art now. Ah. Does that mean that you are victorious? I dunno. Do you feel victorious? I’ll tell you this, though: it does mean that the entire city has become a community of people. Every door, wall and window. People of all sizes and shapes.


These are characters. They start to take on a new life. This new world has rules.


Rules that live on in their own way, long after they were written down.


They become a novel that wrote itself. You, author, are no longer the author, but a character in this self-writing book.


How does that feel?


Homey, I hope! So, when you set out to write a novel, remember: all actions have unintended consequences. The re-creation of the earth into a novel is one of the unintended consequences of literacy. To stay literate, you might just have to start reading yourself.




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