An Open Response to Redleg
"You may well have passed on the next Henry Darger," said Redleg in response to yesterday's post.
Jon immediately knew who Henry Darger was; I did not and did some Googling to find out. Darger was a self-taught artist who lived in relative isolation and plastered the walls of his apartment with wild and beautiful, if controversial, art. The amazing works were discovered after Darger's death.
We get very cocky about our wired world and tend to discount any would-be authors who cannot or will not keep up with the current technology. Perhaps we do it at risk of passing over a literary Darger. I appreciate Redleg's take on this and will keep it in mind.
However, I don't think the call I received was a budding Darger. Sometimes people are just ill-informed and even lazy. We can't take the time required to tease them out of their ignorance and teach them how to write. There are ample resources available for ANYONE to learn this business. All it takes is some initiative.
I'm sure there are brilliant writers out there toiling in isolation and we and the entire publishing world will never hear about them because they don't use the Internet and they don't immerse themselves in the "proper" way to secure an agent and publisher. Like Darger, they pursue their craft out of passion, not in order to be published. We can hope that these writers will be discovered by someone who recognizes their talent. If not, their work may simply die when they do.
Thanks, Redleg, for reminding us that this work is not all slick and digitized. Fine writing is fine writing, no matter how it's done.
How to be heard - Do your homework. Show up with contributions and connections long before you bring your opinion. Save the snark for later. Pay your dues. Speak up about sh...
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