Friday, June 27, 2008


Dishonest and Lying Narcissists

Some writers have stated that they wrote only for themselves or that one should write primarily for oneself, e.g. Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Tolkien.

Umberto Eco, in his essay How I Write (tr. Martin McLaughlin), disagrees:
However, I would not like these last statements to generate automatically another view common to bad writers — namely, that one writes only for oneself. Do not trust those who say so: they are dishonest and lying narcissists.

There is only one thing that you write for yourself, and that is a shopping list. It helps to remember what you have to buy, and when you have bought everything you can destroy it, because it is no use to anyone else. Every other thing that you write, you write to say something to someone.
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