Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 29


a formulaic book written for a surefire audience with the promise of steady revenue. This does not mean they are poorly written, it just means that their author depends on the income, knows where the paycheck is and writes it to readers taste, in most cases severing the creative bond between art and commerce. The name derives from the poor starving artist metaphor that needs to pay the gas bill to keep the pot boiling. The expression usually applies to books, but the concept can be applied to any art form that is driven by popular demand instead of creative integrity. It is possible to line the two up. Usually, works of this nature are not enduring, because popular tastes change leaving these whales beached.

Edward C. Patterson

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