Because I fear the judgment of the literati? It is a fear that plagues all of us – the horrifying moment we run into an ex-lover carrying a copy of a tabloid newspaper or magazine: the intellectual equivalent of stained pyjama pants and askew hair.
Ahhh, yes, the fear of judgement: Used by pathetic bourgeois assholes to legitimate their narcissisms. Marieke Hardy hints at the real problem with literature in that very few people care. This is the fear of judgement of judgement. The spectre of commodified pulp haunts every judgement of ‘good writing’. Hardy quotes some bloke:
As he writes on his blog, so beautifully: “Words are your birthright. Unlike music, painting, dance and raffia work, you don’t have to be taught any part of language or buy any equipment to use it. Don’t be afraid of it, don’t believe it belongs to anyone else, don’t let anyone bully you into believing that there are rules and secrets of grammar and verbal deployment that you are not privy to. Don’t be humiliated by dinosaurs into thinking yourself inferior because you can’t spell broccoli or moccasins. Just let the words fly from your lips and your pen.”
You don’t have to be taught any part of language? Bullshit. Buy any equipment to use it? Nice tweet, bourgie peanut. So it may have a ‘beautiful’ liberal humanist sentiment, if you believe such crap, but the writing is cliched derivative shit that has been said many times by every single boosterist of so-called ‘new media’. Here is my version: Don’t just write something. Because ‘just write something’ is the literary equivalent of the fucking Nike slogan.
Instead, Hardy should have been critical, or at least a realist, and call it how it is. Most writing on the internet is deplorable. All it allows you to do is follow your own interests as a reader. Therefore, it is not the beauty that can be expressed through writing that should be championed (ala that unintentionally neo-Kantian peanut she quoted), but the accessibility (of whatever) that is liberating. Hence, the contradiction. Hardy wants to democratise the judgemental conservative impulse of literature, but she valorises the medium of mediocrity instead.