Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Spillane and misogyny

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 12 Jul 2006

My problem with this argument, Miker, is that the vox populi doesn't determine what gets published. Editors do. And they don't take votes. So I fail to see how that's democratic. For instance, when Barry Gifford reintroduced Thompson and Goodis to the world via his Black Lizard press, he did so because he liked Thompson and Goodis, not because the populi were raising their collective vox.

That's not taking into account financial considerations. Sometimes writers (or writers' estates) who deserve to be reprinted can't agree terms with publishers, so negotiations grind to a halt. How does that fit in with the vox populi? That's more a case of the vox accountanti. Ditto with tracking down estates. Sometimes it's too expensive and/or time-consuming.

And what about the single voice, the vox populus? J K Rowling, for instance. I remember Dodi Smith's I CAPTURE THE CASTLE going into several new editions after JK said it was her favourite book as a child.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Michael Robison
  Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 2:22 PM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Spillane and misogyny

  Al Guthrie wrote:

  Democratic? Can you explain that, Miker. Most
  editorial decisions are made by no more than a handful
  of people.

  I'm not sure what you mean. I'm not sure where
  editorial decision comes into the picture. Although
  I've snipped my end of the post now, the gist of what
  I was saying is that the definition of literature,
  defined as many people reading a work many years after
  its inception, is democratic because the definition
  depends on vox populi, and not some elitist critic's


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Jul 2006 EDT