Writing and the zeitgeist
Sheehan, Helena (1991) Writing and the zeitgeist. Irish University Review, 21 (2). pp. 295-306. ISSN 0021-1427
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Have contemporary writers anything to say about their times and, if so, have they the nerve to say it? This article argues that there is much failure of vision and failure of nerve on the part of today's writers. Because they lack the clarity and courage to come to terms with the times, they succumb to its deceptions and seductions. Its thesis is is that the power and value of writing is in the scope and depth of its engagement with the zeitgeist; in how perceptively a writer captures the spirit of the age, expresses the temper of the times; in how much of what is there in the air, throbbing in the collective psyche, pulsing in the ever shifting social order, a writer gathers up and expresses in accurate and resonant images, in provocative and paradigmatic stories. This is pursued in reflection on attitudes expressed at two international writers conferences and in polemic against the prevailing views expressed.
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