The monstrous of all fames

… a man becomes famous when the number of people who know him is markedly greater than the number he knows. The recognition enjoyed by a great surgeon is not fame: he is admired not by a public but by his patients, by his colleagues. He lives in equilibrium. Fame is a disequilibrium. There are professions that drag it along behind them necessarily, unavoidably: politicians, supermodels, athletes, artists.

Artists’ fame is the most monstrous of all, for it implies the idea of immortality. And that is a diabolical snare, because the grotesquely megalomaniac ambition to survive one’s death is inseparably bound to the artist’s probity.

Milan Kundera musing on novels; via Maud Newton. The immortality stuff reminded me of Atwood’s thesis that writing is a reaction to the fear of death. A must-read piece, by the way!

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One Response to “The monstrous of all fames”

  1. Writing as seeking « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] PS:- Via Coturnix, I learnt about this post of Archy, whose ideas are closer to writing as a reaction to death and as a search for immortality! […]

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