Thursday, December 3

The Cultural Atmosphere of an Author

Posted by Shelly Holder

How does one, I wonder, achieve the cultural status of an author? I don't mean just my name listed on the NYT bestsellers list, although that would be an amazing achievement of its own. But how does one gain the reputation of being literary?

I am fascinated by the idea of the french salons, run by elegant ladies and populated with eccentric characters and brilliant thinkers. But these have passed away by several centuries.

I am fascinated by the idea of Bohemia, and the establishment of city quarters like Montparnasse, or Soho, or Greenwich Village. These all exist, but some of the "the glow and the glamour" has washed away with time. I read a very mournful elegy several years ago on the death of the American bohemian lifestyle, and I positively cried in sympathy.

I am fascinated by the idea of literary establishments- the clubs, and famous writer's groups that some authors establish, like ... well, see, even I can't even remember which ones I mean, and Google has no clue what I'm talking about.

So how does one recreate this sort of atmosphere in modern America? How does one achieve that sort of reputation beyond the words on a page and into the realm of personality? When writing is not an occupation or an obsession or a career or a hobby, but a lifestyle?

Well, I certainly don't have any answers from my two years of pondering, and I suspect that it will take me more than twenty to achieve anything definitive.

But, then, one never knows.

Right now:
What I'm listening to: n/a. The roomie, Long-Suffering One, is asleep. Shhhhhhhhh....
What I want most: To start Flesh Circus, the newest Lilith Saintcrow that I just bought

2 comments:

JB said...

What a lovely post. I think you have started a place just as you speak of, here on your blog.
Thank you, especially for pointing out writing as a lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

I'm new around here, seems like a cool place though. I'll be around a bit, more of a lurker than a poster though :)
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