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sf sapphire and steel winning

April 2016



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Cat in Specscoffeeem wrote
on March 20th, 2013 at 03:17 pm

...But if you're just putting it in to be politically correct***, then you're bound by ideology, and that's bad art."

Or a third possibility ("Oh noes don't make me count to three!"): that the writer is just trying to get the reality part right. That part of the job where the description of stepping out the back door on a cold morning is so well-observed that the reader is transported to a moment in his life of breathing out fog and blinking against the slanting light.

But if the reader has never noticed the cold, the fogged breath, the angle of the light--if the reader hasn't been aware, really aware, that all moments aren't the same moment--he may call that description filler, artsy-fartsy shit, pretentious writing. Bad art.

Or maybe, the next time he steps out into a cold morning, that description will come back to him, illuminate and transform that moment for him, and he'll feel a little thrill of being connected to other people, places, and times. Every moment will cease to be the same moment, if only for a while. And the more often it happens, the longer the effect lasts, until awareness becomes a habit and a joy.

A writer who tries to get the reality part right is trying to deepen her or his relationship with the world, with the reader, with her or his own perceptions and beliefs. The reward for that is good art, not bad.

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