Writer’s Brock – Welcome to Pyongyang, Young Hearts


Imagination, a child neglected by rectitude.

Nothing kills dreamers quicker than the idea of truth. The assertion that there is one reality is killing unmarketable forms of expression through painful division. Imaginative writing is that casualty. So many times I’ve heard “I don’t read fiction” or “I don’t read poetry.” Real life accounts of actual events sell well through the dubious notion that truth is truer than art. The truth is an evasive wraith that can be approached but not touched. I would go so far as to call even the latest scientific research a genre of fiction. How many times has understanding of the nature of our universe been shown to be inadequate at best or ludicrous at worst? I believe the closest writing to honesty admits its artifice.

I must be a cliched advocate for subjectivity, but not in an abstract sense. Rather I see the damage the idea of truth is doing to humanity and it must be dispelled. Belligerent insistence on access to an objective reality of any kind is terrifyingly dangerous. There is no more disturbing assertion to me than anyone who claims to be entirely right. The result can be anything from misguided belief that what one is reading is a true story to self-righteous delusions that some act is necessary to set the world right. Every atrocity ever committed was done because it was doing the right thing.

In writing, my profession, asserting something as true rarely has the impact of a book like Mein Kampf. More often than not honesty is just a marketing angle needing to profit when in fact disciplines have no clear borders. Claims are made to the more valuable landscapes of thought in order to prevent the collapse of a threatened institution– publishing. Even in the case of this assertion itself, I must admit am no better than those I chastise. I really believe this is true: writing is Korea, divided for sanctimonious reasons to a horrible end. Dominoes fall by design. The truth gets rich and the martyrs in a fantasy world starve. Welcome to Pyongyang, young poets, young novelists, young hearts.