… facts, both literal and symbolic, are the stuff of art as well as of life…. But today there are few facts in the American novel, if only because the writers do not know much about anything except their own immediate experience, which is apt to be narrow.
That’s Gore Vidal in his essay, “Writers and the World”. Here’s another from his essay, “Literary Gangsters”:
Today’s reader is not interested in analysis but opinion, preferably harsh and unexpected…. the more violent and ad hominem the style, the more grateful his readers will be. Americans like to be told whom to hate.
He then quotes Voltaire:
The infamous trade of vilifying one’s colleagues to earn a little money should be left to cheap journalists…
All seem to be even more true today than when these lines were written.
Now go lift something heavy,