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Literary Multiplier / Critical Mass

Literary Multiplier / Critical Mass

And here’s Norman Lock on small presses & print vs. digital, via Eugene Lim’s wonderful blog.

A select bit from Norman, and my thoughts:

…To acknowledge such a limitation is to accept a reduced role for the writer.  I do not believe that what I write can change the world or the people in it. I don’t believe that anything written by a contemporary literary artist has that power over a mass audience. There are some who believe they can restructure consciousness using language and narratives that defy convention. But their visionary writing will scarcely be read by the people most in need of a transformed consciousness. The only work that has power to engage a mass audience is sentimental (which is a lie) or pornographic (which is also a lie, though perhaps a more entertaining one). We can rue this. We can set down the causes to mainstream publishing or to a degeneration in popular taste and appreciation that have little to do with literacy. But we can and should seek out our own margin and make our literature there.

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Author Spotlight & Presses / 13 Comments
March 31st, 2009 / 9:28 pm

Today in Big Publishing’s Dying Shudder

the-dying-gaul

Oh, hey! Another editor has managed to convince his bosses that his internet addiction is not a huge drain on company time and bandwidth by getting a freely accessed photo blog turned into a book!

Harper Big Wig into phone: Nelson? Get into my office. Now.

Nelson, entering: Yes boss?

HBW: Nelson, I don’t know if you are aware of this, but all the office computers now have spyware on them. According to our records, you spent all of last week surfing the internet.

N: Uh. Well, sure. I was…doing…research?

HBW: Research? Why weren’t you reading the slush pile? Did you find anything?

N: [Pause.]

HBW: Well?

N: A blog with pictures of fried foods?

HBW: Nelson, you’ve done it again! Let’s get a contract drawn up.

And scene.

Keep throwing shit against the wall, fellas. Something is bound to stick.

Behind the Scenes / 39 Comments
March 24th, 2009 / 1:02 pm