Saturday, February 24, 2007

Arrogance and the Writer

Writers are creative, yet I remain amazed at the things writers can find to be arrogant about.

Some of the nicest people I've ever met are scribes, but writers certainly have the ability to be (fill in the blank)-er than thou.

I was at a conference once where a writer was introduced with the proud preface that he had a novel that had sold 1,200 copies. The underlying message was, of course, that it was such a brilliant work that it was not for the unwashed masses but for those brilliant few with pipes and patches on their tweed elbows.

So low sales=cause for arrogance.

Of course high sales likewise is a cause for arrogance.

I suppose arrogance is the shield against the world's slings and arrows and the world's indifference so well identified by Stephen Crane:

A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."


It's not just writers. Pick a profession. All posture and preen.

If you catch me being arrogant just slap me. I don't want to be. I don't deserve to be.

I'm bored with arrogance.

I just want to ramble about my enthusiasms and struggles and breath my share of the air and eat my share of the guacamole dip.

Really that should be enough.

4 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've never known you to be arrogant, Sid. But then, I've never tried to demand my share of the Guacamole dip from you either.

I know what you mean about arrogance in all kinds of walks of life, though. It seems to require a lot of energy, and I'd reather spend the energy on other things.

Arrogance is a dish best not served.

Erik Donald France said...

On the other hand, arrogance has occasional entertainment value. (Norman Mailer comes to mind). . . gigantic egos are occasionally fun, but I wouldn't want to have to deal with such on a daily basis.

My favorite character in Affliction is the James Coburn one. He'd be a monster in real life, though.

etain_lavena said...

Hi Sid

I am so with you one this, I pull faces at ppl who think they are better than others....hihihih:)

Sidney said...

Good point, Erik. I guess Orson Wells would qualify on the Mailer level also. I saw him in one documentary saying he snatched a paperback from a clerk's hands and promised a friend he'd make a movie for him based on it in exchange for a favor. That's supposed to be the genesis of The Lady from Shanghai.

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