A Little Cheese With My Whine
I was printing out the stories written by my peers that I need to read for the upcoming MFA residency and getting very annoyed. Why is it, I thought to myself, that so many writers in my program, and in creative writing programs in general, feel the need to constantly bombard their readers with images of characters drinking wine? Is wine all that romantic? Do they think everyone drinks wine? Isn’t it possible that a character exists out there who is not a wine drinker and does not quote from works of literature that no average human being has ever read?
I have always loathed literary snobs. There are certain cliches that simply push my buttons and literary snobs seem prone to use them over and over and over again. The cliche of the sophisticated, intelligent romantic drinking wine—it pisses me off. I just can’t even believe that image because it’s conjured so much. I find myself thrust out of just about any story I read when the people start popping a cork and swirling that disgusting smelling and tasting beverage around in their oh-so high class glasses. Fuck wine drinkers! Fuck them all!
Well, not really. I mean, in real life I know a couple of wine drinkers and I think their fine people. The thing is, they’re not writing shitty stories and trying to mask their deficiencies with flowery, literary cliches like wine drinking. Wine is not the be all and end all of existence for real people, at least not most real people. Don’t make it the be all and end all for your characters.
Now, I haven’t actually read any of the stories with the pervasive wine drinking yet, so they might be good pieces and I just don’t know it. I’m willing to admit that. But, I felt the need to vent a little to you fine people so that you understand if I ever write a story where wine drinking is involved in a gratuitous or cliched manner you have the right to beat me with a wet noodle.