Archive for August 13th, 2011
No writer in any age ever got a blank check. He always had to accept some conditions imposed from without, respect certain taboos, try to please certain people. It might have been the church, or a rich patron, or a generally accepted standard of elegance, or the commercial wisdom of a publisher or an editor, or perhaps even a set of political theories. If he did not accept them, he revolted against them. In either case they conditioned his writing. No writer ever wrote exactly what he wanted to write, because there was never anything inside himself, anything purely individual that he did want to write. It’s all reaction of one sort or another.
Oh the hell with it. Ideas are poison. The more you reason, the less you create.
—Raymond Chandler, in a letter to Charles Morton of the Atlantic Monthly