Monday, July 5, 2010

Give 'Em What They Want!

I wish underground writers would get into their heads the realization of how much opportunity there is out there. Best selling novels should be selling 30 million copies or more. Right now "Literature" is hitting a tiny fraction of the American public-- mainly because the literary product sucks. (See recent stories in The New Yorker.) You know potential is out there when a goofball like Glenn Beck tops the best-seller list with a tossed-off novel-- largely bought no doubt by folks who aren't reading David Foster Wallace.

We're a nation of 300 million people. Give people a truly exciting, readable product and they'll flock to it. You might need a few things that current lit writers scorn-- like narrative drive and striking characters, as well as a glance or two at the real world. Writers, of course, would need to put aside their egos and-- gasp!-- write for an audience. The writers who do that with talent and the right promotion will be ten times bigger than the literary world is now.

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