Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The fall of fiction

I heard a sad but very telling remark on the radio this morning. A politician ... Dem, House ... was describing his work day. I do a lot of reading on airplanes, he said. Some relating to work. Some historical non-fiction. And if I want to escape the serious issues I face, I read fiction.


Half a century ago such a remark would have been laughable in its ignorance. Fiction was the primary forum for facing the serious issues of the day! Sure, that other stuff, pop fiction, paid the light bill but a publisher made a reputation on the quality of the literary fiction brought out. Publishers were the guardians of literary culture.

Today a publisher makes a reputation by publishing soft porn. Publishers are mere department heads in multinational corporations. Literary is now a pejorative term.

No comments: