And rightly so, I say:
The arts, I say, constitute a brazen fraud—the arts at least as peddled in boutiques, sanctified in galleries, and rattled-on about by professors who ought to find productive jobs.
To begin with, the poseurs who have awarded themselves charge of the arts wouldn’t recognize an art if they found it swimming in their soup. It is true. Start with literature. I have read several times over the years of wags who copied out three chapters of some classic—The Reavers, or Moby Dick (“Call me Fishmeal.”)—and sent them, perhaps with the names changed, to publishing houses in New York. Invariably they were rejected. The professional judges of manuscripts recognized neither the books nor good writing. You would get better results having literature judged by a committee of taxi-drivers.
Trust me, I’m not operating under any misapprehensions about my literary abilities. But more importantly, I’m no longer operating under the misapprehension that most publishers have any clue about a) what is good writing or b) what will sell.
The beauty of living in an age when quality self-publishing is affordable is that the gatekeepers are largely irrelevant now. Oh, you’re not likely to find fame and fortune selling 50 books at a time, but then, it’s not as if the odds were in your favor doing things the conventional way anyhow.