TODAY'S LITERARY PEOPLE
have a blind spot in that they don't realize how most people view literary writing.
They're like fans of Mozart, who when listening understand every nuance; each note of play or pomp, pathos or humor.
Most people today, raised in a different world, don't hear this from Mozart. They hear something different-- only the notes. In the same way, the general reading public sees something different in a novel by Michael Chabon. Literary people smile and nod and appreciate. Everyone else is bored.
I'm not saying to write Dreiser. We need writing that does what Dreiser's did in his day but which is new. It's our task to recreate the art form. What undergrounders are doing are fledgling attempts. We need to present to the nation a literature people can get excited about.
But forget about literary writing. That's dead. That's done. That's over. The path that way is closed. We can only move forward.