This is a very interesting question. As a child, my grandfather spent many hours reading to me which did, I believe implant in me a love of the written word. Our walks in the woods close to his home also developed in me a love of nature which does, I think manifest in some of my poetry. Likewise I had a wonderful school teacher, Mr Delacruz who had a store cupboard who’s shelves groaned under the weight of books. My grandfather’s love of literature and Mr Delacruz’s love of the art has been passed down to me. As to the question whether writers are born or made, I am wary of nailing my colours to the mast on this matter. In the past Marxist determinists said (or strongly implied) that the environment was responsible for almost everything in the shaping of the human personality. This deterministic outlook has, in some circles, been replaced by the equally deterministic perspective that its all down to genetics. Both views strike me as highly reductionist and it is, I suspect a complex mixture of nature and nurture that helps to determine whether a person becomes a creative, whether as an artist, poet or author.
Hello, SEers! Mae here with you today as we enter a new month. Happy first day of July!
In June, I raised the question “are writers born or made?” Today, I want to follow up with another question: can the writing gene be inherited?
Think about the Bronte sisters. Neither parent was a writer, though both were said to be extremely literate. All three sisters, plus their brother, played games of imagination as children, possibly cultivating their creative side while dreaming up fanciful places. My earlier post, Are Writers Born or Made, would point to this as their “trigger” moment—assuming the desire to write was dormant inside.
We also have brothers Alex and Evelyn Waugh, known for Islands in the Sun and Brideshead Revisited, respectively. Their father, Arthur Waugh was a biographer (Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning), as well as a literary critic. Evelyn’s son, Auberon went…
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