Literature Must Fall is a platform committed to de-mystifying and
de-sacralising literature, to interrogating and challenging the value that we pour into books and the authority that we give writers. This is necessary because there remains, in the literary establishment and in everyday attitudes a collective assumption that writers are simultaneously above and apart from society rather than products of it. It's assumed that books are valuable in themselves, and that reading makes us better, smarter people. With this elitist arrogance, performativity and fetishizing around literature comes a deep-seated contempt for those who cannot or do not read; an assumption that they are more ignorant, more racist, sexist, homophobic than those that do read.
The truth is, as Edward Said and many others have shown, literature is often a vehicle for colonial propaganda, violence and exploitation. Postcolonial critics have offered the solution of ‘writing back’ as a solution to this orientalism but whiteness is so pervasive it is revealed in everything we read and write. Literature Must Fall works to question even the idea of ‘writing back’, for literature is so entangled in whiteness it is reproduced even in the works of writers of colour.
White supremacy (along with other supremacies, of gender, class, caste, sexuality, ability) already normalised in the collective consciousness, become all the more invisible in the texts we consume and produce due to the assumptions we already carry about literature and the imagination as somehow being pure and free. When any groups or individuals express, through protest, their discomfort with a particular text, they are ridiculed and silenced, framed as uneducated and uncivilised, as attacking freedom of expression and creativity.
Literature Must Fall as a movement is committed to demonstrating that all writers and texts are located and inherently flawed as made apparent by the politics that is reproduced in their works. This is not to say that we can’t read or enjoy literature – only that we should do so with critical awareness. This platform organizes events and discussions and publishes pieces that do just this, foregrounding a resistance to supremacies, hierarchies, and invisibilised assumptions.
Check out some of the highlights of past LMF events!