Vanity. All is vanity.

November 6, 2010


I was listening to the CBC this afternoon. They were interviewing various authors about their books. If they are like me they were probably puking afterwards. It all reeks of vanity and I believe at the core of most good writers is a need to remain private, to remain anonymous. What else can you say after you’ve written a book. Every answer should be… ‘read the book.’ I’m making it sound like the interviewers weren’t good at their jobs. This is not the case. And the interviews have to be done. The publishers need the publicity. They want people to be interested in the books. The television/radio networks need to talk to authors. It gives the talk of Canadian literature a sense of authenticity. Andy Warhohl had it right went he hired an actor to play him in interviews and discussions throughout America. I much prefer visual artists, painters etc who can basically ‘bullshit’ their way through interviews. Who’s going to contradict the artist. And its not like you can quote something in the painting to question his response. I think there are 2 kinds of artists. There are the ‘Tom Sawyer’ artists who love to talk about their work, themselves, just about anything under the sun. They are entertaining. But for the most part superficial. And then there are the ‘Huck Finns’ who would rather be in hell then stand up to a microphone and explain themselves. Perhaps most writers are a bit of both.

2 Responses to “Vanity. All is vanity.”

  1. ghadah said

    i’ve often thought about hiring a stand-in for my exhibition openings. i absolutely HATE being there and, as you said, having to explain myself. it’s there, ‘read the book’. or in my case, ‘look at the works’. i recently had an exhibition opening and i tried to make it as much about the visitors as about my work (and more importantly mySELF). is the artist important? can we have the work without the human attached to it somehow?

    ps. sorry about the barrage of comments. i’m enjoying your blog. it’ll soon subside ;)…

  2. Perhaps that is the advantage of being dead. You don’t have to show up for your shows. On the other hand, you feel almost giddy when you have a show. And then there is that reaction that many artists feel and that is that someone will find out that you’re a fraud, that you have no talent. I haven’t had that reaction myself but I know of artists who have. Wakes them up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
    ps. no one ever resents comments on your blog. more the merrier.

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