I’ve been on all sides of this perspective. I’ve been an Adjunct Professor egghead myself. I’ve worked for people in the private sector and so has my husband, and we’ve run several small businesses.
And as we all know, times have changed.
As a consequence, I have lost my interest in contemporary literary writing I found so compelling in the past. Because it’s clear these people have no idea what it’s like to provide JOBS for other people, provide INSURANCE and a PAYCHECK for other people when they themselves cannot take one.
They all should have to do that for two years before they write another idiot word.
They have absolutely no idea who pays the freight here. They don’t understand risk and they have no compassion for people who do.
But they know all about life and feel qualified to tell everyone else how to live.
There are so many small business owners in this country losing their livelhoods. Landlords, restaurant owners, contractors and retail people — the list goes on –all make these sacrifices and take RISKS.
For years, I was fascinated reading their (elitist I realize now) sophisticated, intellectual perspectives on life, thinking they had things to offer. And maybe they do. But nearly all literary writers now are teachers or have come through MFA programs (something Jim Harrison warned about). These people in academia have no idea what people in the private sector, I mean BUSINESS OWNERS, go through, and don’t care what other people experience. And have no idea what real oppression looks like.
Above all, it never occurs to them there might even be a different perspective.
So I’m not saying I want them silenced or they have nothing at all to contribute (though it’s harder to see what these days); I’m saying it’s getting boring listening to them contemplating their navels, talking to hear their own heads rattle, and talking down to people with their patronizing flowery, unsubstantial words.
Not that this characterizes all of them. But the elitism and woke fascism has been breath-taking.
I still love the classics, but just like politicians of old, most literary writers before 1900 and perhaps a bit into that century, had real jobs in the private sector and wrote from at least that perspective. ‘(One of my favorites Henry David Thoreau, wrote so beautifully about nature and not caring about money, but lived and was supported by his buddy, Ralph Waldo Emerson).
These people have no idea about risk or any real appreciation for other lives (when they talk about what they are entitled to — teachers’ unions and other government unions — that there is no choice about the length of their work week.)
And we have either academic idiots (or media) and big business monopoly people who have become as powerful as world governments.
They have no appreciation for the golden goose as they wring her neck.
So I’ll read the old literary classics and some commercial fiction — and I’ll try to find joy in writing a completely different style. We’ll see how that goes.