Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Creative Capital

with 2 comments

“To be a writer in this market requires not only money, but a concept of ‘work’ that is most easily gained from privilege. It requires a sense of entitlement, the ability to network and self-promote without seeing yourself as an arrogant, schmoozing blowhard. And it requires you to think of working for free—at an internship, say, or on one of those gratis assignments that seem to be everywhere now—as an opportunity rather than an insult or a scam,” she writes.

Via Marc Bousquet.

2 Responses

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  1. I don’t think that this article has a very long historical view. Creative careers and privilege have always gone hand in hand. The precondition for the Italian Renaissance was Venice’s ascendance as a center of finance. The Dutch masters all stem from the era of high finance in the Amsterdam bourse. In Britain, being a creative person almost universally presupposed that you came from a landed estate (with the obvious famous exceptions). The US may have its Melvilles and Steinbecks, but it also has its Edith Whartons and Henry Jameses. I don’t doubt that recession exacerbates the difference, but let’s not embrace some stupid, short-term, “the way things were” view as a result. If we want parity, we need equality of education and, perhaps as importantly, a “safety net” so that people don’t have to panic about, e.g., an unpaid internship.

    Alex Greenberg

    October 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    • Sure. What this anxiety is about, in part, is the return to that mean from the historically aberrant boom years of the postwar US. Just as I got the email notifying me about your comment I was reading a news piece about income inequality hitting a 40-year high.

      gerrycanavan

      October 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm


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