Dumbing down.

With the Caitiff, this longer piece I have been working on, I have been, somewhat unconsciously, trying to combine the Existentialist form I favour with a somewhat political narrative. I do not know if this is working quite as well as I would wish it to. Whilst it is something that I would enjoy reading, I cannot help but feel that it is not a viable piece for any publishing house I may submit it to. I cannot help but feel that this thing I am working is not something that anyone would either be able to get through in that kind of panicked rush I tend to consume both Existentialist novels and political texts, like Orwell’s work.

After I received some feedback from YouWriteOn.com, as of yet I have received five ‘reviews’ of the opening chapter, I decided to remove some of the complexity. It was not something I enjoyed, as I enjoy writing in a manner which would, hopefully, not only make the audience think, but encourages me to think as I write it. But with such valuable feedback as ‘I love clever writing, the well turned phrase that reaches out from the page and grabs the reader and says “Yes, this is truth! This is life!”. I think you are heading in that direction but the text is so dense with subclauses and minute detail, any universal truth in what you write is lost.’ What reaction am I supposed to take?

If the general readership of the internet believes that I need to simplify, to remove detail and subclauses, then is that the action I must take? If they, if you, want me to dumb the thing down, then is that the right thing to do, when all my literary principles scream at me to ignore the readership?

Do I want to be one of those people who claim that they will be famous after they’ve died? That they are merely under-appreciated by their generation?

I’m not designed to be appreciated. In fact I react negatively to praise, but there must come a point where I cannot do as I want to do, when, if I want anyone to read that which I spend long hours writing, I need to sacrifice that which I consider to be literature? Perhaps I should just toss this Existentialism aside. I should read Dostoyevsky and Camus and Sartre, and write the kind of crap I did years ago. I think I still have the first draft of some shitty fantasy I was writing some time ago; maybe I should return to that.

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