“List of Social Changes that Would Assist the Flourishing of Literary Beauty” — William T. Vollmann

“List of Social Changes that Would Assist the Flourishing of Literary Beauty” by William T. Vollmann. Originally published in his essay, “Something to Die For” (Review of Contemporary Fiction) but excised here from Expelled from Eden, the Vollmann reader I’m finding addictive—-

1. Abolish television, because it has no reverence for time.

2. Abolish the automobile, because it has no reverence for space.

3. Make citizenship contingent upon literacy in every sense. Thus, politicians who do not write every word of their own speeches should be thrown out of office in disgrace. Writers who require editors to make their books “good” should be depublished.

4. Teach reverence for all beauty, including that of the word.

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