“Iridescent Mediocrity”

“Iridescent Mediocrity”

My dad tossed me Cyril Connolly’s “The Unquiet Grave” the other day.  It’s incredibly entertaining–odd, jarring, contrarian, but best of all, endlessly amusing (even when, or especially when, it makes no sense at all). Anyway, it begins with two sentences every writer ought to read immediately, if only to ratchet up the fear and the grandiosity of purpose:  “The more books we read, the sooner we perceive that the true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and that no other task is of any consequence.  Obvious though this should be, how few writers will admit it, or having made the admission, will be prepared to lay aside the piece of iridescent mediocrity on which they have embarked.”  No better phrase for every aspirant’s apex of terror:  iridescent mediocrity.  

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