Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Writing - Authors as artists

The role of writing is rather like that of being an artist. There are a variety of media in which you can write, there are a variety of styles or shades, and you describe how you see things. Rather like Edvard Munch.

Image result for edvard munch the scream variations

As shown above he produced four versions of his famous Scream.
From left to right,

Tempura on cardboard
Pastel on cardboard
Tempura on board
Crayon on cardboard

Each version is slightly different and will vary in its audience appeal. So with writing books there are different ways of presenting to your audience.

As a result of having different options the outcome will have different audience reactions and so you have books that are popular, best sellers and banned.

Image result for fahrenheit 451

The disturbing act of book- burning is the key theme of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel set in a future where unchecked technology has superseded human knowledge and intimacy.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame star of Ray Bradbury, awarded in 2002
Believing that Bradbury’s original book could disturb impressionable high school students, his publisher produced two versions: the full or “adult” version, and an edited version for schools, in which as many as 75 passages were modified
Bradbury knew nothing of this. He found out 13 years and ten editions later, in 1979, when a friend drew these text alterations to his attention. Bradbury was furious and insisted the edited version of his book be replaced by the original. In some later editions, a statement from Bradbury appears in the book, which states:
“I will not go gently on to a shelf, degutted to become a non-book.”

The act of  censoring the book without the knowledge of the author is rather like altering the smile on the Mona Lisa!


Image result for animal farm

George Orwell’s Animal Farm follows the fate of a group of farm animals who successfully revolt against their human masters… only for their leaders – the pigs – to become as oppressive and tyrannical as the farmers themselves once they gain power.
George Orwell in front of a BBC microphone (1943)
Completed in 1944, Orwell was already a respected and successful writer and this was his most powerful and accessible work to date. Even so, he struggled to find anyone who was prepared to publish it.
It was the novel’s obvious parallels with Stalin’s Soviet Union that concerned the potential publishers who declined the book. This even included TS Eliot, who at the time was working as a director at the publishing house Faber and Faber. While Orwell’s writing was highly regarded, it was thought it simply “would not do” to offend an ally of Britain in the midst of a World War.
Orwell was not impressed by this argument and in due course noted in the preface to his novel that: "The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary..."
When Animal Farm did eventually find an outlet with the small British publisher Secker & Warburg the first edition of 4,500 copies was an immediate success and a reprint of 10,000 copies soon followed. It is notable that Animal Farm was banned in the USSR until Perestroika for criticising communism, but was also banned in the USA for having "communist material" in its introduction.

You need only to turn the clock forward to today and there are elements of Animal Farm that remain relevant.

God Bless