Writers And Fans - Poem by gershon hepner
Some writers have readers, but few have got fans.
Without them they feel quite bereft, Jacques’ sans
applying to everything, even their life,
as worthless as surgeons deprived of a knife
to writers who haven’t a fan and whose readers
are not like the timber from Lebanon cedars
which Solomon used for a temple before
he wrote three great volumes his fans all adore,
first one full of proverbs, then one for a preacher,
then finally, tired of being a teacher,
his masterpiece, known as the Song of his songs.
Every reader who’s read him declares he belongs
to the category “fan, ” like those fans whom I long for
of vanities vanity terribly wrong, or
perhaps not so wrong, since a writer’s no man––
or no woman, of course! ––if he’s hasn’t a fan.
Inspired by an article on Nabokov by John Lanchester in the NY\R on December 17,2009 (“Flashes of Flora”) . Lanchester quotes Alan Bennett who once pointed out that “not all writers have fans, as opposed to readers”. Those who have only readers include T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh and Edith Wharton, while James Joyce, Anthony Powell, Henry Green and Gertrude Stein have fans. Lanchester writes that Nabokov has fans:
The simplest and most enduring reason for reading Nabokov is that his work is so full of sensual detail, and those sensual details are so precisely evoked, that his writing becomes, in the words of Martin Amis, “the nearest thing to pure sensual pleasure that prose can offer.”
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