Random Quote: Graphomania


“The irresisitable proliferation of graphomania among politicians, taxi drivers, childbearers, lovers, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, officials, doctors, and patients shows me that everyone without exception bears a potential writer within him, so that the entire human species has good reason to go down the streets and shout: ‘We are all writers!'” (Milan Kundera)

Abram Terz has a nice short story about graphomaniacs, I’m sure it’s available in English – the moral of that story has often been bugging me: writing is easy, anyone can write, good writing is what is rare.

I wonder if our “publish or perish” academic culture does not only force everyone to become a writer, but also forces everyone else to read all that mediocre crap that everyone is forced to publish? I mean it’s seemingly no one’s fault and yet something’s quote wrong with it, isn’t it?

4 thoughts on “Random Quote: Graphomania

  1. If you want to see something to make you sad, take a doctoral dissertation from fifty years ago or more and turn to the bibliography at the back. It will be about a tenth of the length of the bibliography of a dissertation from the present day.

    I recall reading an article on the state of jobs in departments of literature in which, after observing that a large and growing portion of the jobs were in the teaching of writing, the writer commented: “It seems that more and more students want to write, while fewer and fewer want to read.”

    Which puts me in mind of a Chukcha joke. . . .

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