Re: RARA-AVIS: Genre Fiction Will Die!

From: foxbrick (
Date: 30 Jun 2008

--- In, "jacquesdebierue"
<jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:
> --- In, "Nathan Cain" <IndieCrime@>
> >
> > I'll believe people want difficult, original fiction when I start
> > seeing people reading William S. Burroughs and Steve Erickson at
> > beach. Until then, I'm not holding my breath.
> Or the runaway commercial success of the books by the late great
> William Gaddis... and look at the number of shiny, unread copies of
> Pynchon's novels at second-hand stores and yard sales. In fact, I
> not even sure that Faulkner was ever much read. These are great but
> difficult authors. More recently, I am having trouble understanding
> the bestsellingness of Cormac McCarthy, who's not easy, either.
> many more people buy him than read him.

Mario, not only that (and that's true of much simpler novels, as well, including the likes of, say, Jackie Susann's YARGO or, I suspect, Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES), but also you're making the mistake of confusing official "bestsellers" with books that customers, as opposed to bookstore chains and distributors, are actually buying.

And then there's the "weighting" that the compilers of such lists make so as to distort the list in favor of "worthier" books.

It's a remakably corrupt process, to no compellingly good end.

And, Nathan, some people might well want complex or novel novels...but not on a beach or in an airplane.

Todd Mason

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