In a letter to a fellow writer, Anton Chekhov once wrote, “You are right in demanding that an artist should take an intelligent attitude to his work, but you confuse two things: solving a problem and stating a problem correctly. It is only the second that is obligatory for the artist.”
Starting around 2008 and seeming to accelerate with each year, the world feels as though it has gone haywire. In America, we are politically polarized, overloaded with information, and de-sensitized to the chaos around us. To compete in the marketplace, we are increasingly forced to develop personal “brands” so that even our very selves have been commoditized. Meanwhile, our citizens and institutions alike are living in a true and constant state of disruption. Empathy is in short supply, and no one has the time to reflect in this rapidly changing world.
Good literature can serve as an antidote to this state of disruption. Fiction fosters empathy, and helps provide clarity by synthesizing the world around us. The mission of Haywire Books is to “state the problem correctly” – to help readers make sense of this chaotic world we live in.