Sunday, February 07, 2010

Words Again

These days we are drowning in words of information:  Google, Wikipedia, E-Help, and other web sites all supply us with more than we really wanted to know.

However, in my opinion, good writing is in decline.  Who knows the name of the  Pulitzer or Nobel novel anymore?  Can you give the name of one good modern poet or even the name of the Poet Laureate of your state? Even children's literature has declined  to themes dealing with bathroom habits and dressing fancily.  Thanks to rap and hip hop, the lyrics to songs are no longer intelligible or singable.

In an article about the decline of good sportswriting, Gary Cartwright wrote, "The world of perspiring arts has lost its voice and maybe its soul." (Texas Monthly, June, 2009).  He goes on to describe some of the current columns as "an inch deep and a mile wide." (my aside--perhaps the same could be said of many of the sermons preached in churches on Sunday morning.) We are blessed at Otter Creek to have a much different kind of preaching.

We are so sated by information and poor writing, that we have quit looking for and valuing really good writing, profitable for the mind and soul.  I wonder what will be in the anthologies of world and American literature 20 years from now.  There doesn't seem much literature out there worth anthologizing.

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