October 15, 2008

The Cult of Personality

Concurrent with the last and final debate in the US presidential race, I found these pertinent words by writer Jesse Ball, in an interview, that spells out what we all are victims of at some level or other in today's world.
But it is of course important to realise the difference between promoting the work itself or the personality behind it. The propaganda culture that envelops us now has gotten people used to the individual being marketed before the work done by that individual. Most of the people who are famous now are famous just for being famous, as opposed to the work they do. In a way, then, it is important to present something that people can hold on to, the enduring reason. I think literature can help people kinda find better ways to live a life, show different possibilities. It is possible to pick up and read a book that will change the way you live your life and do something different, and I believe in that power of text. History has shown us again and again the power of printed material. With exposure to plain individuals, when you look at a TV screen or some celebrity, your interplay with it is much simpler. ‘I have to be another person, do this, do that, this person lives this life of leisure and fun,’ you may think. It’s a simple exchange where you end up wanting something that doesn’t even exist in the first place. Interacting with the actual text, that’s something real, y’know.
Jesse Ball is the author of the intriguing and creative novel, Samedi the Deafness (NYT review), which I started reading today. As is my wont, I googled him to find out more about him and ran into the above interview with him and his wife, the Irish writer Þórdís Björnsdóttir, who in addition to their own books of poems, have also together written a book of short stories "concerning the love of Vera and Linus."

No comments:

Not one more refugee death, by Emmy Pérez

And just like that, my #NPM2018 celebrations end with  a poem  today by Emmy Pérez. Not one more refugee death by Emmy Pérez A r...