Источник: Zadie Smith, ‘Fail better’ essay for Guardian. 1. Сказ о Клайве. Вообразите-ка юношу по имени Клайв. Zadie Smith, in her essay “Fail better,”1 posits “that somewhere between a critic’s necessary superficiality and a writer’s natural dishonesty, the truth of how we judge literary success or failure is lost.” She follows with the fascinating question she would ask writers: “Never mind critics, what do you yourself think is wrong with your writing?” Her general observation is that “to writers writing well is not simply a matter of skill, but a question of character”—yet there is a pretense to the contrary, a public squeamishness about the connection between character and writing. Though rarely a. A Guardian essay by Zadie Smith called “Fail Better” considers what writers try to do when they write and what readers should be doing in response. She says “somewhere between a critic’s necessary superficiality and a writer’s natural dishonesty, the truth of how we judge literary success or failure is lost,” and she tries to remedy the loss. You probably won’t agree with everything she says, but if you’re at all interested in the subject you should find it a fascinating read, and it makes me (as it does Anatoly, from whom I got the link) want to read some of her fiction. (The title of the ess.
This book was zadie smith fail better essay without my knowledge.
I had thought I was writing a novel. Then a solemn, theoretical book about writing: The deadlines for these came and went. In the meantime, I replied to the requests that came in now and then. Two click at this page words about Christmas? A hundred thousand words piled up that way.
When you zadie smith fail better essay first published at a young age, your writing zadie smith fail better essay with you-and in public. Changing My Mind seemed an apt, confessional title to describe this process. As is a cautious, optimistic creed, best expressed by Saul Bellow: I was reluctant to read it.
I knew what she meant by giving it to me, and I resented the inference. In the same spirit she had introduced me to Wide Sargasso Sea and Smitb Bluest Eye, and I had not liked either of them better to say, I had not allowed myself to like either of them. I preferred my own freely chosen, heterogeneous reading zadie smith fail better essay. I flattered myself I ranged widely in my reading, never choosing books for genetic or sociocultural reasons.
Then I read the first page:. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, zadie smith fail better essay out of sight, never landing zadie smith fail better essay the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.
That is the life of men. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly. It was an aphorism, yet it had smitth pinned to the ground, unable to deny its strength. It capitalized Time I was against the capitalization of abstract nounsbut still I found myself melancholy for these nameless men and their inevitable losses.
The second part, about women, struck home. It remains as accurate a description of zadie smith fail better essay mother and me as I have ever read: Well, all right then. I relaxed in my chair a little and laid down my pencil. I inhaled that book. Three hours later I was finished and crying a lot, for reasons that both were, and were not, to do with the tragic finale. I had to concede that occasionally aphorisms have their power. I had to give up the idea that Keats had a monopoly on the lyrical:.
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-nearing bee sink into the sanctum zadie smith fail better essay a bloom; the zzadie sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from smity to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight.
So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid. Death, that strange being with the huge square toes who lived btter in the West.
The great one who lived in zade straight house like a zadie smith fail better essay without sides to it, and without a roof. What need has Death for a cover, and what winds can blow against him? In the mouths of unlettered people she finds the bliss of quotidian metaphor:. Her conversations reveal individual personalities, accurately, swiftly, as if they had no author at all:.
Hicks is the name. Above all, I had to let go of zadie smith fail better essay objection to the love tribulations of women. It is, in the end, the choice between values, possibilities, futures, hopes, arguments shared concepts that fit betger world as you experience itlanguages shared words that fit the world as you believe it to be and lives. In these two discrete worlds, you will not even think the same way; a mind trapped with Logan is freed with Tea Cake.
But who, in this context, dare speak of freedoms?
teach critical thinking adults Feel Free: Essays
In practical terms, a black woman in bettef America, a woman like Janie, or like Hurston herself, had approximately the same civil liberties as a farm animal: It hurts Janie, too; she rejects the realpolitik of her grandmother, embarking on an existential revenge that is of the imagination and impossible to restrict:. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up.
It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making. The familiar people and things had failed her so azdie hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. It is about the discovery of self in and through another. It implies that even the zadie begter fail better essay and terrible banality of racism can recede to a vanishing point when you understand, and are understood by, another human being.
That Tea Cake would not be our choice, that we disapprove of him often, and despair of him occasionally, only lends power to the portrait. He seems to act with freedom, and Janie smitb choose him freely. We have no zadie smith fail better essay we only watch. After that first reading eseay the novel, I wept, and not only for Tea Cake, and not simply for the perfection of the writing, nor even the real loss I felt upon leaving zadie smith fail better essay bdtter contained in its pages.
It meant something more than all that to me, something Esay could not, or would not, articulate. Later, I took it to the dinner table, still holding on to it, as we do sometimes with books we are not quite ready to relinquish.
At fourteen, I did Zora Neale Hurston a critical disservice. I bettwr to be an objective zadie smith fail better essay and not a sentimental fool. In the process, a different kind of critical disservice is being done to her, an overcompensation in the opposite more info. Something similar zadie smith fail better essay been done to Hurston herself.
We are in a critical world of some banality here, one in which most of our nineteenth-century heroines would be judged oppressed creatures, cruelly deprived of the therapeutic first-person voice. Black women writers have consistently rejected the falsification of their Black female zadie smith fail better essay, thereby avoiding the negative stereotypes such falsification has often created in the white American faip and Black male literary traditions.
Betteer place of negative falsification, we have nurtured, in the past thirty years, a new fetishization. Black female protagonists are now unerringly strong and soulful; they are sexually voracious and unafraid; they take the unreal forms of earth mothers, African article source, divas, spirits of history; they process grandly through novels thick with a breed of greeting-card lyricism. They have little of the complexity, the flaws and uncertainties, depth and beauty of Janie Crawford and the novel she springs from.
They are pressed into service as role models to patch over our psychic wounds; they are perfect;  they overcompensate.
The content is always unique.
The truth is, black women writers, while writing many wonderful things, zadie smith fail better essay have here no more or less successful at avoiding the falsification of human experience than any other group of writers.
It is Hurston herself. Zora Neale Hurston-capable of expressing human vulnerability as well as its strength, lyrical without sentiment, romantic and yet rigorous and one of the few truly eloquent writers of sex-is as exceptional among black women writers as Tolstoy is among white male writers. It took bravery to do that: Inblack readers were embarrassed by the unlettered nature of the dialogue and white readers preferred the exoticism of her anthropological writings.
Who wanted to read about the poor Negroes one saw on the corner every day? It is zadie smith fail zadie smith fail better essay essay zadie smith fail better essay her reclaiming should be an emotive and personal journey for black readers and black critics.
Like all readers, I want my limits to be drawn by my own sensibilities, not by my melanin count. She saw things otherwise: No one should deny themselves the pleasure of Zora-of whatever color or background or gender. For a while she thought it was gone from her soul. No matter what Jody did, she said nothing.
She had learned how to talk some and leave some. She was a rut in the road. Plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down by the wheels. Sometimes she stuck out into the future, imagining her life different from what it was. But mostly she lived between her hat and her heels, with her emotional disturbances like shade patterns in zadie smith fail better essay woods-come and gone with the sun. Above all, Hurston is essential universal reading because she is neither self-conscious nor restricted.
She was raised in the real Eatonville, Florida, an all-black town; this unique experience went some way to making Hurston the writer she was. She grew up a fully human being, unaware that she was meant to consider zadie smith fail better essay a minority, an other, an exotic or something depleted in rights, talents, desires and expectations. But Hurston herself was not. It is also as complicated, as full of blessings and curses.
To write critically in English is to aspire to neutrality, to the high style of, say, Lionel Trilling or Edmund Wilson.
Such critics will always sound like the neutral universal, and the black women who have championed Their Eyes Were Watching God in the past, and the one doing so now, will seem like black women talking about a black book. When I began this piece, it felt important to distance myself from zadie smith fail better essay idea. By doing so, I misrepresent a vital aspect of my response to this book, one that is entirely personal, as any response to a novel shall be. Fact is, I am a black woman,  and a slither of this book goes straight into my soul, I suspect, for that reason.
Of course Madame Bovary is like me! He is human; I am human. White readers often believe they are colorblind.
Автор: Shakajinn Nalabar