The Realm Of Modern Literature

1726 Words7 Pages
In the realm of modern literature, a multitude of texts have produced a “thicket of information”(Goldsmith, “Uncreative writing” 1). In this “thicket”, all works seemingly blend together into one jumbled-up, problematic mess. To cut through this jungle of mundaneness, writers aspire to fabricate what they perceive as “creative” literature. There are even guides to doing this; though most are filled with cliché terms and phrases such as: explorer, ground-breaker, and going where no one has gone before(8). But are they all missing the point? Kenneth Goldsmith, author of uncreative writing and professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks so. He argues that the current literary world is plagued by the need to be unique. This need manifests itself in the art of creative writing. But in trying to be so creative and fresh, the world has fallen into “a rut…[hitting] the same note again and again…[in] the narrowest of spectrums”(7). To liberate ourselves from this rut, Goldsmith argues that we must write literature that showcases the emotions of the author through its construction rather than through its content. This can be a hard concept to grasp because the way creativity is taught is flawed. Goldsmith points out that one is taught to be “creative” by using common themes throughout the piece such as writing from an odd perspective. All this “creative” writing creates “an unprecedented amount of available text”(1) with little creativity. Through the novel use of “uncreative” writing this problem can be combatted. Goldsmith believes that the time to get out of the “creative” rut is now, for advancements in technology are allowing a greater number of people to access and mold information than ever before. Two examples ... ... middle of paper ... ...n, has become much faster. Two examples of uncreative writing are “The Inkblot Record” by Dan Farrell and “Survey Says!” by Nathan Austin. In both these works content is removed from its original context and transcribed to a new artistic contest that allows an argument to be made based on something other than the content. In “The Inkblot Record” Farrell questions the validity of the inkblot test by changing the context, while Austin disorients and makes each reader reconstruct a unique game show from just answers to questions by leaving out the questions and using uncommon organizational techniques. The final goal of uncreative writing is to evoke true creativity as opposed to the cliché “creativity” that got the literary world into a rut. ”By not being “creative,” [one can produce] the most creative body of work” in their lives.( Goldsmith, “Uncreative writing” 9)
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