The “Myth” Of Dead Young Writers


At the New York Times, Dana Stevens and Benjamin Moser debate whether or not we romanticize writers who die young. While Moser argues that we should not remember a writer for his death, Stevens admits that she is attracted to the “mythic tale” of writers who die prematurely. Stevens writes:

Maybe idealizing the work of brilliant authors who died too young isn’t the worst thing in the world, as cultural practices go. After all, it wasn’t just these people’s writing careers that were cut short by the cruelty of fate. It was their lives, their collective earthly shot at love and failure and awe and laughter and rage — all the experiences that, with their gifts, they might or might not have gone on to turn into great literature, but that would have been worth having anyway.

Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →