Is This the Face of Literature?







(Pictured: George R.R. Martin.)



(Pictured: Jonathan Franzen.)

ON THE WEEKEND of the much-ballyhooed Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, we see as possible match-up between the two poles of the lit-world now, two of the more UNcharismatic, uninteresting individuals who could be found. Yes, they’re writers– which is why much of the country is fascinated by the contest between an over-the-hill boxer and a brawling Irishman– while the happenings of the lit world fascinate only a few elitist cliques in New York. (Fans of the “Games of Thrones” TV show are more interested in dragons than in whatever feckless ideas popped out of George R.R.’s head.)


The answer: YES!!! “Literature” needs to be rethought from top to bottom. It needs to get its head out of the 18th century and realize presentation is all. Mistakes that led to a canon of unreadable and/or bland writers have led to the condition of the literary art now— marginalized within the culture of greater America. Or: No one cares.

How do we get people to care?

NEXT: “Who Creates the Canon” Part II

2 thoughts on “Is This the Face of Literature?

  1. I had to go to Google to find out who George R. R. Martin is. I think that must mean he’s not the creator of the canon.


  2. R.R. Martin is publishing’s leading writer, its #1 product, with upwards of 60 million books sold. He’s likely the ONLY writer many readers have ever heard of. He and a handful of other authors are keeping the top-heavy New York publishing industry afloat.

    The goal (our goal) is to have canonical authors be as well known as Martin– as well known as Conor McGregor. (An absurdly ambitious goal– but why not?)To accomplish it we might have to pull writers & canons out of their museums, monasteries, and ivory towers, and throw them back into the general populace, where they once were. Where any living art form belongs.

    (When one looks at where the UFC began, from nowhere, to now dominate public conversation– far more than any literary person or action– our goal isn’t so absurd. It just has to be done.)


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