Knowingly or unknowingly we are insisting that a literary work must be a print-published to be taken note of. It is every one’s knowledge that all awards and rewards constituted to honour a writer / poet / critic / essayist / travelogue writer and like creators insist to be considered for award / reward / citation / commendation the work must have been print-published. This insistence has meaning when printed version alone does the dissemination of the creative works.
But now web-publishing also is ruling the creative field. Many are publishing their works on the internet and are also being recognized. In addition to printed book we have so many other ways of reaching the readers, critics, award or reward givers. Under such circumstances why a printed version of the work is insisted and only considered.
It is well-known to all in the literary and creative field how difficult it is for an ordinary poet / writer / fiction-writer / novelist and like creators of literature to publish one’s work. First, publishing a work is a very costly affair. Unless the work is accepted by a publisher for publication it is an enormous task for the literary figure to publish oneself one’s work. And the choosy nature and calculating minds of publishers in terms money returns and such realities ruling and being practiced, makes it almost impossible for a poet to print-publish one’s poetry or literary work.
Will it become no literature or unworthy literature if web-published for consideration by all involved in literary landscape – the creators, the readers, the critics, fellow creators of literature, award/reward constitution – individuals / groups / societies and the like?
The content is the one which must rule but not how it is being presented. In these days of rare acceptance of poetic works for publication in view of their poor returns in terms of money, the difficulty further increases. In fiction-field too many fiction writers and novelists find it very difficult for their works to be considered for print-publication.
And I always wonder and am not able to understand why we are so religiously sticking to printed versions for consideration of being considered?
What is the sanctity or greatness of print-published work? In these days of multi-fold dissemination possibilities which are very cheap, why the costly printed versions being insisted? Is it not our mind sets must change?
Also the exploitation being practiced by some unscrupulous publishers in gobbling what little revenues the book may bring and not sharing any to the writer/poet stares on our face? And many publishers look down the creator as if one is a beggar. Why such pleadings and honour-damaging rituals must take place?
Writing is a special talent. Such individuals are not adept in commerce and business. Why they are also burdened with the money aspect before their works are considered?
It is high-time web-published works are also given equal respect as the print-published works. Thus many more creators get recognition though not money. After all, creators unconsciously or consciously desire recognition. Clubbing recognition with money spending (to print-publish) is not definitely a desirable situation in literary and the most creative field.
All creators engaged in writing, composing verses etc., literary activity cannot aim Nobel prize and the like. At least local recognition gives some sense achievement to the creators. It is neither culture or civilization to insist one to expend money to be recognized.
Wish our attitudes change and web-publishing is equally considered, respected and honoured by the society. Advancement in technology has created an opportunity for the litterateurs. Let us allow them to make use of it and we too enjoy in recognizing them through their works even if they are merely web-published and let us not insist print-published versions for recognition.
Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam
A teacher, poet, scientist, philosopher and spiritualist.