Friday, August 24, 2012

A slight change of direction.

As you grow older, you grow up. At least that's the idea. I started blogging four years ago quite by accident and without much thought to it. I saw so many book blogs and figured I could have one too since I loved reading books and wanted to talk about what I read. I don't have many opportunities to talk about books in my life, even fewer to talk about books and not be treated with patronizing indulgence. It somehow happened that within my immediate family, I'm the only one who reads with a deeper purpose than simply passing time and treats reading not as a silly hobby but something serious that brings added value to my life.

Four years later, I feel I am in a place that allows me to make more straightforward and somewhat calculated decisions. This blog, which used to be Reading Extravaganza, is one thing I can and will change. I am doing something I should have done four years ago. I am finally giving it a direction.

Axe for the Frozen Sea is now a literature blog, not a book blog. What I will try to do here is create a bridge between literary fiction and commercial fiction. I don't want to write a novel that will be in the middle of these two. I am not a writer, I'm aware of what I can and cannot do. Unlike what seems to be 90% of today's population, I don't want to write books. I belong to that very important group of people for whom books are written, paintings are painted, music composed. I make art a part of my life. Unfortunately, the trend that worries me is that writing is no longer seen as art by an unbelievable number of people. It's sad but not tragic. As all other art, true writing will persevere.

I want to show you, whoever you might happen to be, that literary fiction is not pretentious or a whole lot of nothing dressed in big words no one understands. Literary fiction is instead beautiful, it has depth, it has lessons to teach you if you're willing to learn, and it will help you understand why writing is a gift very few people are born with.

I would also like to show those on the other end of reading tastes that 'commercial' fiction (I do hate that word, in all honesty) is not all worthless rubbish written by money and fame seeking individuals, who are nonetheless keen observers of the general public. Genre novels, such as horror, thriller, fantasy, crime et al, are penned by many talented writers whose passion for writing shines through their stories. If it were up to me, I would do away with the distinction altogether. Splendid fiction should be just that. Novels should be judged on the quality of writing, not on which category or genre they belong to.

What is happening in the book world nowadays is tragic. The readers' standards are so low as to be almost non-existent, the atrocious books published and read nowadays are an insult to all the unforgettable literature that is facing a danger of becoming obscure. Not to mention we're now raising a generation of young people who not only religiously read Twilight trilogy instead of Grapes of Wrath or Les Miserables (yes, I read both in tenth grade and I was not an exception) but are encouraged to do so because after all it doesn't matter what one reads, as long as one reads. This may possibly be the most nonsensical and dumbest sentiment I've ever heard. This phenomenon is too complex to be written about in this post. I will write a separate one. Yes, I do have a strong opinion on it (I have strong opinions on a lot of issues, which condition I find a lot more preferable to trying to be falsely objective and in effect not have opinions at all).

I suppose this post may be called my blogger manifesto. And if it is that, then the posts published within this blog are my reader manifesto. I will always speak up for literary works of art and against the rubbish written by semi-literates that should never have seen the light of day.