Mystique of Genius

A well-known Spanish novelist wrote a prologue to Chirbes’s diaries and timidly observed that these aren’t really diaries. Every word seems planned and held under steely control by the author.

Chirbes’s literary executor went apeshit crazy. How dare she suggest that Chirbes was dishonest? The diaries are real! Chirbes didn’t plot a hoax!

Of course, this literary executor is a blethering ass. Chirbes isn’t a hoaxer. He’s a writer. A work of literature isn’t an uncontrolled emanation of a mysterious talent. It’s skill, hard work, and an iron will. What is a hoax is the mystique of genius, talent, and inspiration. Art doesn’t magically arise from nature. It’s pure artifice, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually quite wonderful.

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