There aren’t many things in the world as subjective as writing. Modern art and interpretive dance are the only two that immediately come to mind. And I think I’m becoming more acutely aware of the sheer volume of opinions on literature with every post I add to this blog. When I first started writing Piles of Pages, it was because I felt very fortunate that I had been able to study creative writing formally, and I wanted to share whatever I had absorbed with others (without several thousand pounds a year of university fees). But I think I’ve ended up learning just as much, if not more from the people who kindly comment on my articles. Ranging from the insightful to the furious, I’ve heard many new opinions on all aspects of the craft and it’s been interesting to hear about people’s passions for aspects of literature that I had previously dismissed or just been completely unaware of.
Years ago, I remember having a lecturer who absolutely adored anything by Amy Hempel, while I would spit with rage about it being pretentious drivel. But the older (and calmer) I get, the more I admire his enthusiasm. I still can’t stand much anything she produces, but I’m glad she produces it anyway, since it inspires such passion in my fellow readers.
So, I suppose the moral of the story is that just because I don’t like or haven’t considered some element of literature, doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It’s a wonderful epiphany!