I'm a writer because I have stage fright.
Two writers, two talks, two beautifully-expressed arguments about the writer and his or her responsibilities, to the reader, to the craft, to the world. The first is a talk that Philip Pullman gave at the World Humanist Congress in Oxford this summer. I was lucky enough to be in the Sheldonian Theatre to listen to it, a talk that was, as so few are, thoughtful, provocative, illuminating and inspiring all at the same time. It has been republished in the latest issue of New Humanist. When I listened to Pullman, there was a section on the relationship between the writer and the reader that particularly struck me. Re-reading it in New Humanist, it still does; so I am republishing that section here. The whole talk is worth reading, though, so do get the latest issue of New Humanist, for Philip Pullman, and much else.
The second talk was…
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