Take back the word

One of my favorite writers/journalists/essayists is George Packer.  The last line of this entry on his blog caught my attention.

And to becoming, in my middle years, a bit of an élitist.

George, it’s time to take the next step and just say it: there is nothing wrong with being an elitist in this country, for Pete’s sake, particularly when you know what the word means (nice use of the accent aigu, btw.)  It’s time to stand up for knowledge, education, and aesthetics.

Need more food for thought? Try here, here.



Last year I wrote briefly about listening to Amit Chaudhuri, a well known Indian author. In that post, I found him to be…well…arrogant. I was wrong. I had the pleasure of participating with him on a panel discussion earlier this week about fiction writing. The topic was “creativity” and he spoke about his experiences discovering what kind of writer he was. I hadn’t prepared much – not knowing the audience, being on planes for hours on end the past month, and because I tend to prepare at the last minute – but it’s getting easier to be calm about these sorts of things. It also helped that the first panelist delivered a quasi-academic, not well thought out lecture that meandered through stereotypes of creativity. Continue reading →