Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Monday, January 22, 2007

Entertainment or Ideas?

Let's talk for minute about the purpose of art. I mean writing is art, isn't it? Like the above quote ("The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. - Aristotle") for instance.

I'm old school when it comes to writing. I believe writing has a purpose above just entertainment. In my posts on philosophy, this is clear. But it seems to me that many authors have lost the objective, or they've unconsciously avoided it. Perhaps this is because many readers have looked at reading only as a simple passtime. (Or in the words of my mother, "I don't like to read anything that makes me think.")

Now, I'm not dismissing this idea as wrong. I don't see anything bad about reading for pleasure. I've spent countless hours involved in reading for pleasure. I'm just saying not all writing has to be strictly about entertainment. Nor should it. You as a writer have the ability to entertain and enlighten; to please and to teach. I try to do both.

Needless to say, Mom's not to keen on my books, but she's not the target market anyway. She's the kind of person who can zip through three entertainment books in any given Saturday. I'm hoping for the type of reader who wants to think about the ideas in my novels. I'm hoping such readers still exist, and in sufficient quantity to make my books profitable.

So, which do you prefer? Are you like Mom and want to read for entertainment, or do you want to read about ideas? Or is it a bit of both?

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