On Cliques

December 18th, 2007 · No Comments
by Kassia Krozser

Well, I advise you to hold your horses just a minute. Much as I have enjoyed and learned from the books blog and its comments – in all their glorious technicolour variety – we need cliques in literature. Art would be poorer without them. Sure, cliques have a habit of disappearing up their own derrières. GK Chesterton rightly said that the clique “is wrong because it actually discourages the great man from talking plainly. The priests and priestesses of the temple take a pride in the oracle remaining oracular.” If a group believes that only its initiated are capable of understanding it, it runs the risk of navel-gazing inanity. But a clique worth its salt is not about memoranda of association or secret handshakes. Cliques that matter are about breaking rules in private, about pushing against the boundaries of current thinking. They are about ideas. And they come about through people who have certain ideas in common joining together to explore and expound those ideas.

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