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Exit ArchiveArchive for October 15th, 2007
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Here is a very interesting New York Times op-ed from 1992, written by the recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Doris Lessing.

“Questions You Should Never Ask a Writer”

A tidbit:

Powerful ideas affecting our behavior can be visible only in brief sentences, even a phrase—a catch phrase. All writers are asked this question by interviewers: “Do you think a writer should…?” “Ought writers to…?” The question always has to do with a political stance, and note that the assumption behind the words is that all writers should do the same thing, whatever it is. The phrases “Should a writer…?” “Ought writers to…?” have a long history that seems unknown to the people who so casually use them. Another is “commitment,” so much in vogue not long ago. Is so and so a committed writer?

Next time you hear a press release from a company or politician saying that they are “committed to blah blah blah,” ask yourself what that means. Maybe it’s a different context than Doris mentions here, but indeed, the phrase “committed to” implies a point of view without truly committing to it. “We are committed to finding ways to end racism” is not that same as “We are finding ways to end racism.” The first is, I’d say, entirely meaningless, though it imparts import and involvement.

Our current American regime is expert at using language in this “Communist” manner.