Friday, July 24, 2015

Ego in writing

It’s embarrassing for a veteran writer like me—one who has always considered his writing to be above all else a spiritual activity—to admit that such a crass element as ego has anything to do with his creativity. In filching the title of one of her essays—"Why I Write"—from George Orwell, Joan Didion says the reason for writing is obvious from the sound of the pronoun "I" in all three of those words. Her remark is more than clever: after all, one writes for an audience and is imposing (particularly in an essay) his or her views on other people. Even a writer whose wish is to subsume the "I" into something larger—call it humanity, the natural world, or the universe—can’t dismiss the centrality of the self to such a desire. 
James McConkey, "Nurture for the Damn Ego," American Scholar, v.73 n.4, Autumn 2004, at 123, 124.

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