Will to Live Issues

I have spent the day battling 1) a sore throat (conquered, I trust) and 2) a vast toppling pile of undergraduate attempts at creative writing which I am externalling for a writing-mill somewhere down South later in the month. It struck me all over again (as it did when I got the first batch in January) how gloomy the young are. My notes are besprinkled with variations on ‘another alienated wierdo story’. In the world as seen by novelists of the future, absolutely everyone is lonely, drifting, and disoriented. It goes without saying that any statement more complex than ‘would you like a coffee?’ immediately opens up a Grand Canyon of mutual incomprehension. I suppose they could all be right, though given some of the people of undergraduate age I know I am on the whole inclined to doubt it. One thought which does strike me forcibly after a day of wading through adolescent angst: given the enormous practical difficulties which will face anyone now twenty who tries to establish him- or herself in a viable adult life, it is quite extraordinary the extent to which the problems they are prepared to acknowledge or try and come to terms with, quite bravely in some instances, are relationship issues of one kind or another. On the basis of this lot, the future for realist fiction is not looking good.

6 Responses to “Will to Live Issues”

  1. carol Says:

    I am currently 6 into 54 first year essays re-imagining classic plays in ‘accessible’ modern contexts. All batting for Sophocles’ Antigone so far. And so far, we have East End gang culture, 2 Iraqs, a colonial convict Australia, a Rwanda and a 1960s (by someone who may very well have heard of Twiggy and Yellow Submarine, but is hazy on Bob Dylan, Hair and the Summer of Love).

    Go -as our American chums insist on saying - figure.

  2. Jane Says:

    Sometimes I feel that plumbing the depths of the student psyche should be left to plumbers, don’t you?

  3. the tropical godfather Says:

    A propos of which…

    There was a young plumber called Lee
    Who was plumbing his girl by the sea,
    Cried the girl, “Cease your plumbing,
    I can hear someone coming!”
    Cried the plumber, still plumbing, “That’s me!”

  4. Jane Says:

    Would that their pleasures were so innocent.

  5. Will Says:

    Isn’t it in the nature of the beast that anyone involved in creative writing at a fairly young age will inevitably use it as a veiled psychotherapy couch, bejeweled with random plot twists aping their favourite authors? I would hazard a guess that those who fear their futures do not so out of a potential lack of one, rather due to a potential universe of possibilities and probabilities all which are, they are told, unattainable, below them or incompatible with anything they have to otherwise offer. Give me a good cup of coffee any day.

  6. carol Says:

    Having just concluded the 54th and last of the young gloom-mountain, the necessary unit is ‘jar’ of coffee, trust me. Followed by ‘bottle’ rather than girlie glass of wine tonight, I rather think. Have a small (much smaller) pile of thoughts on Titus Andronicus heading my way in Monday (don’t ask about Friday, or Tuesday for that matter): it’s going to be a rollicking hoot in comparison, I’m confident.

    Dear Trpoical Godfather: it’s ages since I came across a brand new limerick. There is that to be said for it.

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