A friend of mine is an old-school, English major sort of guy. He was extolling the virtues of literature as we once knew it: contemplative novels; long treatises on the nature of the human condition; and “serious” novels chosen by a small cabal of unknown gatekeepers. His eyes gleamed for the nostalgia of MFA glories, tiny lit mag aspirations and the New York Times bestseller lists of old world, analog publishing.
This is the sort of conversation that takes me places I didn’t expect to go. Only in talking it out, and writing it out here, have I discovered and understood what I think about New versus Old writing, reading and publishing.
The “issue” is, have readers’ tastes changed?
All generalizations weaken questions and answers, but there’s validity waiting down there in the dark. Let’s delve.
Pre-WWII, many schools in the first world taught Latin and Greek. Long recitations of…
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