‘Leave the bloody writers alone’ : the social responsibility of writers

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McLaren, John (1989) ‘Leave the bloody writers alone’ : the social responsibility of writers. Island magazine (39). pp. 33-37. ISSN 0725-2951


At first glance, it seems crazy to demand social responsibility of writers. Of course, we expect them to write the truth, imagine the real, tell us how it is. But beyond that, they have no responsibility except to themselves. The history of literature is littered with the deadening results of attempts to demand higher loyalties of writers, and with the ruses by which writers have escaped from these attempts to fetter them. Writers, it is clear, fulfil their social responsibilities by writing. It is up to us, the readers, to decide how we use the writing we are given.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/17389
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Collections > McLaren Papers
Keywords Literature, Sydney Realist Writers Group, novelists, romanticism, capitalism, fiction, feminist writers, social values, political ideologies, literary theories, MCLAREN-BOXD2-DOC1
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