The problem of publication

imagesIn the introduction to The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, le Carré writes about how the publication of this book changed his life:

“I had written literally in secret…and free of serious critical attention. Once this book hit the stands, my time of quiet and gradual development was over for good, however much I tried to re-create it…For years to come there would be no such thing, for the publishing industry, as a ‘small’ le Carré book–a distortion both longed for and abhorred by any artist worth his salt.”

That last sentence pretty much sums up my ambivalence about getting my work out. I already know how influenced I am by people liking one poem or another, how it colors my judgement. I’ve watch perfectly wonderful writers get famous and spend the next decade or two imitating themselves in the most pathetic fashion. And yet…

And yet I do long for recognition, like any writer worth her salt–that wonderful moment when someone responds to what you’ve written! So I dutifully send out work, chalk up my rejections, get a happy jolt when something is accepted or praised. And so it goes.

Luckily, I have my blog, where I continue to please only myself. BTW, I am loving The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, which le Carré says he wrote in five weeks.  It’s taut, filled with menace, and so vivid! No wonder nothing was the same after that.

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