Joanna Kavenna

Schrödinger’s Plot

Caroline’s Bikini

By

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Why write? We might counter this question with a further question: ‘Why do anything (except to earn enough money to survive)?’ or – with thanks to Albert Camus – ‘Why live when you just die in the end anyway?’ Nonetheless, the question ‘Why write?’ is pertinent enough for those who do write, or would like to write if they were able to spend less time earning sufficient money to survive. George Orwell both posed and answered this question in a famous essay, ‘Why I Write’. (His reasons included ‘sheer egoism’, ‘aesthetic enthusiasm’, ‘historical impulse’ and ‘political purpose’.) For contemporary authors, the dilemma is further compounded by the much-vaunted ‘death of the novel’, as well as ‘the death of books of any sort’ and ‘the death of words in general’.

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