Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"A holiday from harsh things"

From Howard Jacobson, in an interview he gave shortly after winning the Man Booker Prize last night:

"My job [as a novelist] is not to give people a holiday from harsh things
or the truth."

Here Jacobson was speaking about the difference between comedy/satire in literature and comedy in popular entertainment. But for me, this quote does a great job of summing up the difference overall between literature and pop culture: i.e. one is about illuminating various truths about our reality and perhaps finding creative ways of interpreting or processing them; the other is about escaping various truths about our reality. Very apt.

Here's the full video of Howard Jacobson's interview with The Guardian.


  1. Per Petterson said on Writers and Company: "Art is about opening wounds not healing them". Along the same lines. I like them both.

  2. Yes, I heard that interview. Excellent quote. Thanks for that.