Great writing frequently reveals an author’s secrets, indirectly. Dickens experience in the blacking factory is represented in several of his works, changed.
And writing is often experimental, with fumbles and stumbles, and false starts.
But increasingly, we are observed, tracked and catalogued. Each piece of data merged with every other piece. Experts say that corporations and the government have a dossier of 1500 pages on every American.
Surveillance makes people nervous and I do not know how people work in corporations that measure each keystroke. But George Orwell, in his novel 1984 suggests that this kind of surveillance destroys people and certainly, their art.
We are here. It may destroy our freedom. Snowden revealed that the NSA gathers confidential talks between lawyers and their clients. This means that the prosecution could learn the strategy of defense counsel. It may not be happening now, but what is possible usually happens. This makes a mockery of our legal system, and ends the integrity of jury trials.
Can art survive in a surveillance society? It did not in Nazi Germany. It did in Soviet Russia until Stalin murdered the poets. Here, poetry is trivialized and not taken seriously. The most successful poetry is written in the countryside when most Americans live in cities.
Can art survive in the future the USA is establishing?