I have a vague memory from my MFA years: Some author of intimidating stature was asked about writers’ moral responsibilities. He dismissed the question, and the questioner. The essence of his response? Writers are responsible for making art and nothing else.
His answer made me uncomfortable even then but I was too much of a novice to know why. Ever since I’ve navigated literary communities with caution, fearing that my earnest commitment to the common good and to uplifting the human spirit would be written off as contrary to art-making.
Imagine my great relief, then, when I dug into John Gardner’s On Moral Fiction last month! (more…)