This essay, The World’s on Fire. Can We Still Talk About Books?, by Rebecca Makkai at Electric Lit is so spot-on!
Rebecca asks something I know many of us are grappling with:
Is it really okay to talk about art right now? To leave the real and broken world behind and talk about fictional ones?Highlights of her essay:
The idea that art is born of leisure, during times of peace, is a simplistic romance, a non-artist’s daydream.and
Of course, it’s one thing to believe in Angels in America, to believe in Picasso’s Guernica, and another to believe in your own sloppy first draft, or in a picture book about a monkey. One thing to fight for the first amendment, and another to retweet an invite for your friend’s poetry reading. It’s hard to feel you’re helping the world by announcing your Pushcart nomination.The whole piece is well-worth reading!
But the exercise of freedom is a de facto defense of that same freedom. Freely making art, and freely talking about the art you made, is valuable in and of itself when free expression is being eroded. If anyone’s still taking that freedom for granted, it’s time to wake up and smell the history.
Illustrate and Write On,