Saturday, August 23, 2014

Writers Rise Above Social Classes

The protagonist in Edmund Wilson's "The Princess with the Golden Hair" which can be found in his Memoirs of Hecate County said, "[Artists] didn't worry about their social position because the life that an artist leads is outside all the social positions. The artist makes his own position, which is about the nearest thing you can get to being above the classes."

Darnton shared in his The Literary Underground of the Old Regime, which I thankfully found in among the $1 book stales at Strand, that "Duclos had proclaimed it triumphantly in his Considerations sur les fession (1750). [In the 18th century] [w]riting had become a new "profession," which conferred a distinguished "estate" upon men of great talent but modest birth..."

"The provincials flocked to Paris in search of glory, money, and the improved estate promised to any writer with sufficient talent...The avenues of advancement having been closed to them because of their humble birth and modest fortunes, they observed that the career of letters, open to everyone, offered another outlet for their ambition."

However, there's nothing wrong with getting a little money out of the deal to finance future artistic endeavors and to stock up on espresso. Like Nabokov wrote, "I write for my pleasure, but publish for money."