Friday, August 17, 2007

Bards Behind Bars

I already stole from on Thursday for the Jim Thompson piece, but I wanted to highlight one other great link that I found there: School For Writers: A Prison Cell. It's an article about the many great works of literature written behind bars. An excerpt:

"Writers in prison and prisoners who write have produced, between them, an oeuvre of global significance. From Boethius in 6th-century Rome, they have triumphed over carceral adversity through a combination of willpower and literary excellence. Malory, Bunyan, Cervantes, Vanbrugh and Voltaire might, at first glance, seem a pretty disparate lot. It is only where one throws in their 'previous convictions' that a mutual connectedness becomes apparent. In far-flung prisons across half a millennium, each man managed to transcend his predicament by drawing strength and inspiration from it."

Best of all, this isn't some NPR-produced work of underclass romanticism-cum-condescension. It's written by Peter Wayne, himself a recently released convict/wordsmith.
That's what the kids call 'keepin' it real.'