The September issue of Standpoint Magazine (UK) contains a very beautiful and inspiring article by Cynthia Ozick entitled 'Writers, Visible and Invisible'.
I am happily surprised by the fact that some of the things Ozick says have a lot to do with yesterday's post in this blog (the one about the article by Cuban author Ronaldo Menéndez)
Amongst other things Ozick says:
"Writers’ invisibility has little or nothing to do with Fame, just as Fame has little or nothing to do with Literature. (...) What writers prize is simpler, quieter and more enduring than clamorous Fame: it is recognition. Fame, by and large, is an accountant’s category, tallied in Amazonian sales. Recognition, hushed and inherent in the silence of the page, is a reader’s category: its stealth is its wealth".
"Writers are hidden beings. You have never met one – or, if you should ever believe you are seeing a writer, or having an argument with a writer, or listening to a talk by a writer, then you can be sure it is all a mistake."
"Writers are what they genuinely are only when they are at work in the silent and instinctual cell of ghostly solitude, and never when they are out industriously chatting on the terrace."
I leave the parts about Henry James, Rilke, and publishers and agents to you. To read it all, just click here.
(Copyright of Cynthia Ozick's photo above: Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)