Celebrating Awesomeness (?) 
Literature and Society
SALAVADOR P. Lopez

Commentary

Creative writers are often pushed to the seemingly insulting question: “why write when you cannot feed your stomach?” In most cases, I believe this is true. Sure, creative writing won’t contribute to the country’s economic struggle. Sure, creative writing won’t give an output about social issues. Sure, creative writing would be the list in a published newspapers. But despite these criticisms about creative writing, there is more to it than one could possible imagine.

Salvador Lopez’ “Literature and Society” mainly deals about his argument that literature should always be socially conscious. As what he writes, “art was a utilitarian device” and by all means it should “not merely to fill idle hour with pleasure excitement but invoke the favors of the gods.” He continues to point out that the concept of “Art for Art’s Sake” is in vain. Nobody would get benefits by reading a coconut poem or a sonnet of a young man’s love for his girlfriend. Literature should connect with society. Art, he says, is an egotistical output --- emotions, feelings, realization, and sorts. Lopez’ says “Only greatness of heart and mind and soul can produce great art…mind and soul are enriched by fruitful contact with others. A man can know himself only through knowing others.”

However, in commentary to Lopez’ essay, creative writing is not at all useless in the society. A coconut poem may just remain a plain poem but when a certain person reads it and is being uplifted from his inner self, deep changes shall begin. If writers should only write about the RH Bill, PCSO issues, K12 system, do they really helps for the betterment of the country? Sure, it will always be helpful in a way of informing and presenting the writers ideas about a certain issue but what would be the next? To state the fact, journalism today is more focused on the negativities of the society. It may include good issues but they are rarely stated. A person who reads daily newspapers, daily news, and daily updates about the country’s issues, would eventually find its way for a long breath.

Creative writers are the engineers of the human soul. Despite of Lopez’ claim that these writers write because “they hope to flee the ugly facts about life” and that they are just “frightened children” and being “overcome by fear.” This point is always welcome for consideration but seeing the beautiful world despite of the world’s dark issues is a courageous act. Actually they give hope to people that there is more to life than those social issues.

And in one way or another, it helps the society beginning with its individuals. For example, if a certain person reads the coconut poem and realizes something deep and moving and transcendence of his human soul happens, the writer is actually successful in changing that individual in the society. If all of the writers would write about social issues, they would eventually poison the mind of their readers insisting that “this is life!” or “this world is hopeless!” or “war never ends!” But looking these social issues through a very beautiful perspective it sure helps for the betterment of the society.

Plus, writing propagandas or social issues columns are not permanent. It may be useful at the time when the certain issues is known but when a reader reads it 10 years later, it would just like a past. But creative writings are always immortal because it is universal – no matter where a reader is, no matter what time the writing is being imagined. Society and literature should not always be connected for some stated reasons. However, in closure of the argument, writing literature related to society is also possible. In fact it may be the most effective way of putting it. Faulkner’s “Dry September” tries to raise the issue of racism through a story and yet he didn’t sound didactic or biased. He just tells a story.

In the end, the argument of literature and society’ marriage is a lot to be discussed. Certain parameters should be considered. After all, writers should be the one to decide what to write. It is his freedom that matters no matter what.