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Literary Imprisonment

  [vote for,

Hopefully this idea is different enough from other similar ideas not to be regarded as half-baked, but see links below.

Many people feel like they're capable of writing a great novel. Most of them are probably wrong. But, nonetheless, they're usually so stuck in the daily grind of going to work that they never really get going on their potential masterpiece. What is needed is time, and a lack of distractions, both things associated with imprisonment.

Works of literature, good, not-so-good, and downright nasty, have been produced by the incarcerated. The trouble being that, in order to get into gaol, one must first commit a crime - or, at least, be convicted of one - so blotting one's record.

This idea is to allow people to volunteer to go to a gaol-like environment, whether real or simulated, for a given 'sentence', to try to realise their literary ambitions. Overheads would be very low, and security would not have to be very tight, so the costs could possibly be covered by a sum in the region of that given to job seekers in the UK.

If the scheme is a success, it could be extended to other areas of the arts. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were famously locked in a kitchen by Andrew Oldham and told they couldn't come out until they'd written a song, thus starting a fruitful writing partnership. This kind of setup might be more problematic - firstly because the noise made by different musicians would distract one another - but also because a special complex of nothing but kitchens would be costly to build, and there would be an increased risk of fire from musicians trying to cook.

-alx, Feb 19 2003

Prison volunteers http://www.halfbake...Prison_20volunteers
[-alx, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Book torture http://www.halfbake...idea/Book_20torture
[-alx, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly http://endeavor.med...bauby1245-des-.html
Written while the author suffered from "locked-in" syndrome. [my face your, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Office Hole http://www.halfbake.../idea/Office_20Hole
Yours is kind of a long term version of mine. [sild, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

I Capture The Castle http://en.wikipedia..._Capture_the_Castle
This book has the main character and her brother lock their father in a tower until he writes something - anything. Wikipedia doesn't have an entry for the novel, but they do for the film. [froglet, Oct 10 2006]


       Who's going to put you in prison for assassinating Eminem?   

       A great deal of literature was written under the influence of mind altering drugs (allegedly). Given a choice, I know which program I'd opt for.
egbert, Feb 19 2003

       Well, you'd better make it a precondition of entrance to the literary prison that the prisoner-to-be has a reasonably strong structure/plot/characterisation already mapped out or all you'll end up with it a load of books about writers in prisons.
my face your, Feb 19 2003

       Oh, baked. Jeffrey Archer (can I say that on air?). Except for the literature part, of course.
egbert, Feb 19 2003

       Covered by the 'not-so-good, and downright nasty' part of the idea, methinks.
-alx, Feb 19 2003

       Like a brain cell?
whimsickle, Feb 19 2003

       As [Rods] sudgests (typo), many people would rather commit an exciting crime and go to prison for free rather than pay to go to the Literary Prison. On the other hand the selling point of the Literary Prison might be that you'd be less likely to get raped in the showers. Unless [-alx] is saying that it's precisely that kind of hardship which inspires great literary works...
hippo, Feb 19 2003

       There is a Boris Karloff movie, the name of which escapes me, with this theme.
ato_de, Feb 19 2003

       It's my understanding that Jagger / Richards' first composition was the Stones' "Tell Me." Based on the quality of that song, I question the foundation of the idea.
snarfyguy, Feb 19 2003

       /Covered by the 'not-so-good, and downright nasty' part of the idea, methinks./   

       Yes, hence the "literature" qualifier.   

       I hate it when I have to explain to everyone how clever I am. It's so not in my nature (flicks hair).
egbert, Feb 19 2003

       If there were merit to this idea, the current denizens of our penitentiaries would be churning out best-sellers quite regularly. To my knowledge this does not happen.
waugsqueke, Feb 19 2003

       Then again, there was at least the example of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was awarded a Nobel prize for his efforts.
jurist, Feb 19 2003

       Hmmmm, freshly prepared meals, room service, free office supplies, wood for the fireplace, perhaps a garden and a view of a pasture with ponies in it. Great conversation over wine with the fellow "prisoners", perhaps some guest lectures and unlimited access to the purely intellectual CBC radio programs ... so far I'm liking it!
ionsfromzion, Oct 10 2006

       Anyone read Chuck Palahniuk's "Haunted"?
It's basically this premise, but with a generous (if predictable, and now, rather tired) helping of 'shock-lit' to help it along.
zen_tom, Oct 10 2006

       When I first saw this, I had the vague idea of being either imprisoned as either a punnishment or reward with books or 'literature' either really really dreadful (Hello! Magazine, etc), or really good (Paradise Lost, Don Quixote, etc) for a set period of time.
froglet, Oct 10 2006


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