Thursday, August 27, 2015

Writers' Responsibility

© by Gerald So | | 3:00 P.M.

In the aftermath of another incident of gun violence, Steve Weddle pondered whether fiction writers have a responsibility in their depictions of violence.

I commented that fiction, even at its most realistic, is to be understood as separate from reality. I've heard it argued that violent fiction, movies, video games, etc. perpetuate violence. It can also be argued that imagined violence is cathartic and prevents real violence.

Though writers mostly write by themselves, they don't write in a vacuum. They write from the influence of other writers and add to genres of reading that will outlive them. That's where their first responsibility is.

Other responsibilities go beyond being writers. I hope that no matter how many humans want to kill, there are at least that many who value the lives of others as they do their own.

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