Sunday, June 5, 2011

Separation of Powers

The principle of the separation of powers applies as well to literature as to politics. It is bad for a writer to become either the sole property of the general reader, or the private fiefdom of scholars. A writer is most usefully kept alive after death by a mixed diet of attention: from the "ordinary" reader, the living writer, the professional critic, the academic theorist, and the amateur scholar. Paradoxically, the greatest writers are often less intimidating to the outsider and the freelance.

-- Julian Barnes, TLS, May 27, 2011

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