Friday, December 19, 2008

The Future of the Culture of Reading

Hat tip to Paul for the pointer.

It's the second thing I listened to this morning.
The piece is here.

The first part of the podcast is dedicated to a discussion of late night shows and their future. The second and most relevant part is about the future of reading and literary fiction.

I have, for some time now, been worried about the future of literary fiction. I see how books like The Da Vinci Code and Twilight receive much attention at the expense of the new work of so many truly great authors, and that's disconcerting. The participators in this podcast mention Michael Chabon in the context of this discussion and, I thought, rightly so.

If you'd like to listen only to the literary discussion you will need to fastforward a good 30% of the program.

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Anonymous said...

It is vexing to see, literally, the dumbing down of the local bookstore contents. Dan Brown on the left, Schiller on the right. Hmm, what to buy, what to buy!

Anonymous said...

I heard the first part too. There is a shift that has occurred in all the media, actually and technology seems to be the culprit.
I liked that they gave a 'shout out' to M. Chabon!
I bet you especially liked that!! :)

Anonymous said...

This was good. The good reader, or the 120.000 serious readers out there, as the podcast says, need to invest more in good literature and actually buy actively the work of the good authors.

Anonymous said...

Good on them for using Chabon as an example.

Anonymous said...

This is unrelated but did you hear about the new Moby/Iggy Pop movie?
No joke.

Sra said...

Books like Twilight, Harry Potter, and The DaVinci Code at least get people who otherwise aren't interested in reading to read. They could pose as a gateway drug to their discovery of fine literature, if you will.

My opinion on movies: sometimes I like to watch an intelligent, provocative, well-acted film, and other times I just want to watch something that will entertain me. I feel similarly about books. Sometimes I want to read something that will make me think, and other times I want to read something that makes me want to turn the page. Just because we can appreciate "good" literature and films, doesn't mean we can't also appreciate crappy stuff that provides some entertainment. IMO.

Anonymous said...

Well, no, not really. I don't think reading "whatever" is better than reading at all. Especially since "literature" of that kind gets all the attention and pushes qualitative pieces out of the market.