Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A Critic Of His Own Community

Nursall noodlingIt is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough, and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home; to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own culture. If the writer is unwilling to fill this part, then the writer should abandon pretense and find another line of work: become a shoe repairman, a brain surgeon, a janitor, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a bus driver.

-- Edward Abbey (1927-1989), American naturalist and author, A Writer's Credo, from One Life at a Time, Please (1988)

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