Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Question for Authors--veinglory

Charles Weingartner held a view about what artists of all kinds do, what they have always done, and what they should do. In short his opinion is that artists "warn us about monsters." His focus is mainly on man-made threats, and how art can urge us to hold the makers of monsters accountable.

So my question for authors is this. Does your book warn us about a monster, and if so what monster is it?

5 comments:

Floyd M. Orr said...

You've got my number with this question, Emily! This is one of the subtexts of all of my books, to one degree or another. My approach is somewhat like a stand-up comic who is a social commentator. Although Plastic Ozone Daydream is a homage to classic Corvettes, it also carefully displays the pattern of newer models moving upmarket into a Yuppiefied stratosfear of buyers who only care how much the car costs and how its spec sheet reads. Ker-Splash was written when the last bastion of a made-in-America industry was beginning to crumble into bankruptcy and outsourcing and joining the same stratosfear as the Corvettes of Daydream. The Last Horizon is about the herd instinct directing pack animals (Americans) into a pattern of continual stupidity. Timeline of America is a lighthearted look at the history of consumerism in America, and we all know about that particular downside that is about to bite us all in the butt!

Jim Murdoch said...

In my first novel the monster is time. A fifty year old man gets to spend two days with the personification of truth and then, once he has all the answers he ever wanted to hear (and a few he didn't want) he dies in sleep. The point is that it takes us so long to make sense out of life that by the time we do there's no time left to do anything with the knowledge.

chris-gerrib said...

Of course we warn of monsters. My monsters are other humans.

Will Entrekin said...

The real power of stories is not so much that they warn us that monsters exist, but rather demonstrate to us that we can slay them.

-roughly, Chesterton

Serdar Yegulalp said...

For me the greatest monster of all is ignorance -- whether the naive sort ("I don't know"), or the kind that is studied and calculated ("I don't want to know"). You could probably contrive an argument that any truly successful work of art is in some form an attack on the veil of ignorance that shrouds all of us.