Friday, May 9, 2008

Fiction in Art

So, in thinking about the ubiquity of the idea that art must be confessional or autobiographical to qualify as art, I was reminded of Salman Rushdie's lecture at SJSU about six months ago.
He started his talk out by saying, "people suspect that a writer's work is autobiography in disguise." He proceeded to use Vladimir Nabokov as an example: he wrote Lolita, but he was not in fact a pedophile! Rushdie pointed out that knowing Nabokov's biography did not deepen his understanding of Nabokov's work at all. The "gap between public life and private life" has diminished, resulting in the contemporary assumption that there is no fiction, only confession.


Juice said...

salman rushdie was here?!$ i must have been living under a rock :(

Shannon Wright said...

Yes, he came through the English Department lecture series: