Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Magical Courtyard--The New Neoclassical Era

Isn't the term New Neoclassical redundant?
No. And here's why.

There have already been a few neoclassical periods in history. In literature, it came in the 17th and 18th centuries. In architecture, the 18th and 19th centuries. And another one in music came in the early 20th century.

Well, we've gone full circle. We're ankle deep in the new Neoclassical Age of Literature. We've been flung back to the old ways of writing, thanks to the advent of self-publishing.

It's a wonderful thing. Let me tell you why.


A long time ago, when writers gathered in Paris for inspiration (and alcohol), when artists were drawn to the Latin Quarter as if they were new vampires being drawn by Dracula, artists created with a sense of freedom. They sought their muses. They experimented with subject matter and mediums until they found their own voices, their own niche in the world. No one would presume to tell a painter how to paint, and no one would dare tell a novelist what his Great American Novel should be about.

Then art began to make money. A writer or painter didn't need to die in order for their work to fetch a nice sum. There was profit. Fiction wasn't just for some with discerning tastes. It was for all.

Then the publishing industry became more than an industry--it became a racket. It was the natural way of things. When writers put their pitiful needs for food and shelter above their art, they started writing what would best make them money. The Industry was happy to tell them what to write. And even the big names today write what will keep them comfortable. 

But.

Now, it's 2012. Self-publishing has arrived. And those who write in popular genres can make more money than we could have with traditional contracts, for the most part. Are we writing what will keep us comfortable? You betcha. But as we run through the halls of the new establishment, opening doors of opportunity we'd never dreamed of, we've stumbled upon something amazing.

All hallways have led to a magical door. And when we shake off the awe and open that door, we find, in a fairy-filled courtyard, that we've been given the most glorious gift an artist might be offered--the ability to create what our souls dictate. We are back to those days of Hemingway where no one will tell us we cannot write a depressing story about an old man who catches the fish of a lifetime, only to have it end badly. No one can tell us we can't write a hero who cooks and sells meth (Breaking Bad). No one can stop us from handing our most beautifully bizarre creations over to the reading public, to let them love or hate them as they will.

We've become the artists of Paris again.

And writers aren't the only ones running these halls. The readers are in here too, reveling in their new found freedom, opening doors to worlds they might never have seen if the Industry were still under the control of the Committee. 

And I predict that this New Neoclassical Period will cough up some remarkable classics--creations we might have missed, might have never been born, if it weren't for this little money-making scheme called self-publishing.

So, if you're an artist--act like one. Dig deep. Go nuts. And get it all on the canvas.
If you're a reader--welcome to our happy halls!

L.L. Muir

12 comments:

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Brilliant! Simply brilliantly said.

Sandy L. Rowland said...

I love how you think! We can become the Bohemian artists, brave, resilient, and willing to live for our art. Aren't you glad that you're traveling those halls now?
Thanks for blazing that trail with me.

Cindy Stark said...

You say it all so beautifully! Welcome to the new era of publishing.

Caroline said...

So very true! Well said!

~C

Joelene Coleman said...

As usual, lady, you've hit the mark. And what's interesting is that those whose works were controlled or censored by others in the past, have jumped ship and opened the magic door as well.

Annie Adams said...

See you in the Quartier Latin.

ladystef said...

I feel I need a beret.

Clancy said...

Brilliant!!!

stanalei said...

Well said, LL. Thanks for blazing the way for so many of us!

L.L. Muir said...

A beret sounds good.

And I thought Absinthe was as close to poison as a drink could get. Not having any of that, but if we all want to run over to Paris, Annie can be our interpreter! She's fluent!

Annie Adams said...

I have to tell you about a painting called The Absinthe Drinkers by Jean-Francois Raffaelli. I saw it in San Francisco at the De Young museum. It was placed at the entrance to a borrowed exhibit of impressionist painters.Monet, Manet, they were all there waiting to be seen, but I was transfixed by this painting. The artist depicted the alcoholic haze so well, I couldn't believe how perfect it was. And yes, the drink was near poison for those who were addicted.

Here is a link to the exhibit page
http://deyoung.famsf.org/pressroom/pressreleases/new-acquisition-absinthe-drinkers-jean-fran-ois-raffa-lli-welcomes-visitors-

Anonymous said...

The dynamic has changed. We're free to let out our muse, and watch her stumble, run or even fly.
No longer to please the editor, the agent, only ourelve, and perhaps many others
I want a Beret in black.
Maelyn Bjork