Toeing the line between artistic vision and marketability is a tricky business for writers. Sometimes it can feel like it’s impossible to have both, especially when it comes to experimental or unconventional pieces. I’ve recently had several writing peers tell me that they’ve been changing their pieces with the intention of making them more marketable and therefore (theoretically, anyway) more likely to get published, and that more often than not they’re unhappy with the end result because it’s not in line with their original artistic vision.
If you can relate to this, then today’s Epic Quote of the Day from the great Czech writer Franz Kafka is for you. After all, he found a publisher for Die Verwandlung, i.e., The Metamorphosis, which is one of the most marketed stories to date. I mean, The Fly is based off of it, and anything a Jeff Goldblum blockbuster’s based off strikes me as pretty marketable. But can you imagine what The Metamorphosis would’ve been like if Kafka had been worried about “the current market” while he was writing it? No. Not at all. If he had, then The Metamorphosis likely would’ve never been written, and that would’ve been a tragedy and deprived the world from one of the best novellas written in the last century.