Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Praise of the Day Job

Sure: making a living is a Good Thing, but in a piece for the Guardian blog, Robert McCrum posits that the bank account is not the only thing that benefits when a writer doesn’t give up his or her day job:
There is a lot to be said for writers who don't just write. The literary press is full of the life and work of professional writers, but the English literary tradition is sustained by men and women who did not give up the day job, and led double lives.
From this parish, George Orwell was writing regular book reviews for the Observer while completing Animal Farm. Philip Larkin, another fairly regular reviewer for the Observer, devoted much of his professional life to Hull University library, which gave him something to grumble about.
Another star reviewer Anthony Burgess squeezed his novel-writing into the moments when he was not teaching, or composing music, or drinking, or writing screenplays, or living the life of Riley.
McCrum taps Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Hemingway and even Vonnegut in support of his theories. They’re all interesting, and they’re here.


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