About a year or two ago, a new Dutch writer took the country by storm. This has been happening on a regular basis since the mid-90's, when Serious Writers stopped writing about WW2 or the sixties and started writing about current events. Most of these are devoured by the masses and loved by the critics. It seems like a win-win situation, doesn't it? Well, they lost me at Hello. Here's why.
The guy that sparked this rant is called Kluun and his book is called 'A Woman comes at the Doctors'. The book is basically about a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoes a series of horrible treatments and surgeries (described in very graphic detail) while her husband screws around with several other women. Yup, they made a movie out of it that was a huge hit. And it sparked a host of copycats.
Lovely, isn't it? But the Dutch writer is not alone. There's tons of writers of general literature who employ shock-tactics to make a point. If they do, that's fine. Thomas Hardy used it in Jude the Obscure and Tess of the d'Urbervilles. They're great books which show the evil side of Victorian class system in England of the 19th century.
BUT, and this is all too frequent, some writers just like to shock people and there's no point whatsoever! This is my pet peeve. They put their protagonists through a world of hurt, rape, torture and all sorts of horrible events to the extent that it can't possibly be for entertainment-purposes anymore and they show or describe it in such graphic detail that the only word that comes to mind is 'Sadistic'.
If they'd say: "Hey, here's an extremely nasty story that I wrote," still I'd have no problem. But they call it 'Literature' and, funny enough, everybody agrees. And my main question to the world is:
Should literature, like art, not be uplifting and inspirational? Rather than leaving you feeling numb and depressed for three days? I always thought so.
Whatever it is you're writing, people, do it because it you love what you're writing. It'll show through the words. Make it entertaining, make it fun, make it so I want to run faster, jump higher, try harder, reach for the skies! Make me laugh or make me cry, but please, do not make me want to take a swan dive off my third floor balcony. The world can be a shitty place from time to time already without these 'literature' writers making it worse with their sadistic fantasies.
So I make an appeal to all the truly creative writers, the ones who have true imagination and can think up worlds filled with creatures both nasty and good. Or the ones who can dive deep down into the human psyche and turn all of us inside out. To the satirical writers who confront us with us, and do so with love and good humour. I appeal to the ones who take the time and effort to think up something to entertain us, to make us forget the world and our worries for a few hours and make us feel Alive! again.
Those I salute.