Not every acciaccatura originates in this spot . . . (ahem).
Tuesday’s posting, Pixels in the wind: traditional publishing vs. the blogosphere (part 2), mentions attempts in certain quarters to blame the financial crisis for the commercialisation of book publishing. This isn’t just untrue but unnecessary. See the quotations of writers and publishers at the bottom of this article in today’s Independent for proof that the only thing more depressing than tone deaf businesspeople shaping literature is the literary community’s glum acceptance of the shift.
Three cheers for this spirited opponent of the trend:
Novelist & critic
Anyone who has an eye on the market is not a writer but a whore. Nothing wrong with being a whore, of course – just don’t try to make out you’re a writer. Writers sometimes talk of pressure from their publishers to do this or that in order to be more commercial. Nine times out of ten this is sophistry and cowardice… I have this existential conception of writing not as a career but as a back-against-the wall option, the thing you turn to when you’ve got no other way of making a mark on the world. In those circumstances, whether or not you’re going to be adequately recompensed is irrelevant.
Readers with long memories will remember that extracts from Geoff Dyer‘s scintillating — not to mention blistering — review of Haruki Murakami‘s book on running posted by me on The Guardian‘s books blog a few weeks ago were deleted by moderators within two hours. Despite repeated enquiries, neither those thought police nor Guardian editors would give any explanation for the censoring. Later postings of the same extracts were also removed. . . Similar actions by that newspaper inspired the setting up of this site.