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All the Writers, Poets, and Playwrights Are Insane

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“All the writers, poets, and the playwrights are insane,” she said, removing the pencil from between her teeth. “How else would they be able to assume a nonexistent person’s point of view to tell a nonexistent story that happened in a nonexistent place? It’s utter madness, I tell you!” she laughed lightly, twirling the pencil, “Yes, that also means you are insane, unfortunately. You-you look at this world here” - she waved her frail arms around - “and today you see beauty in it. Tonight you’ll see fear in it, and the day after you will see sadness in it, and nothing will have changed! Nothing at all!” She looked at me carefully, blue eyes coming to a hazy focus somewhere on my forehead. Her cheeks wrinkled as she smiled. “Now, now, darling,” she soothed, “Don’t be defeated. The meaning of insanity here is not bad! It’s not bad at all; you see, the word ‘insane’ can just be replaced with ‘extraordinary,’ they both mean the same thing here!” I nodded stiffly. “Oh, child,” she sighed, switching the pencil to her other hand, “You don’t understand.”

“Are you familiar with the phrase ‘writers are a dying breed?’ Does it ring a bell?” I nodded once again. “That is not true.” she stated flatly, “If writers are few and far between now, then they’ve always been few and far between. A true writer doesn’t write to send a message, to raise a point, to tell a story, or to document events. A true writer writes, and the message comes of its own accord. A true writer is an insane writer. Not many people are insane; not many people are true writers. Do you understand?” I shook my head honestly. She smoothed a delicate hand over gray hair. “If everyone thought like an insane writer did, would there be any insane writers?”

“No.”

Her expression changed suddenly to a smile, two missing teeth showing through thin, dry lips. “Exactly, darling. Exactly.”



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