Not a word I like or use. It’s usually levelled at working class people, by other working class people, when they express themselves through art. I expect it’s been used about me, though never to my face, because I write poetry and take an interest in art. Why do we impose these limits on ourselves? The working class in the UK has so many barriers to success without us self-applying them.

It ought to be easy. You enjoy something, you do it. And yet I find when I’m teaching poetry writing there’s a reluctance to write anything that isn’t funny or cute or nice. Just write it, and if the world decides to call you pretentious wear the label with pride.

So come on, fellow working class writers and artists. Let’s be pretentious. Let’s get ideas that are way above our station and let’s never, ever know our place.

4 thoughts on “Pretentious

  1. Spot on. I have thoughts on this though. Your own social identity can suffer: you no longer feel affiliated to your working class roots, and feel out of place with those who your talents have brought you into contact with. That’s it for now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true. Someone born working class will always be working class, so you have to be comfortable with that. I wouldn’t try to hide my accent (I doubt I could anyway). But I think working class people have to try doubly hard to prove themselves.


  2. We were just discussing this very topic. Listening to a discussion on class, and how young people equate class with money. Cash for class! Or vice versa. Older folk still hold traditional views on class. Some of those who are considered upper class now simply have no class whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s difficult to put your head above the parapet when everyone expects you to keep it down. And you have to fight imposter syndrome as well as all of the barriers placed in your way by a system designed for wealthy people.


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