Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Has fiction lost its power?

In The Times, Rod Liddle explains why he no longer reads novels.
[Fiction] has become so broad, so general, so eager to please, so self-satisfied, so anxious to make itself relevant and attuned to the times, so shamelessly — and again, forgive me, I can think of no better phrase — middlebrow. In other words, exactly like journalism, except with some made-up names. And we have journalists for journalism, don’t we? Literary fiction, it seemed to me, had stopped doing what literary fiction does best: getting beneath the skin of a subject, to the viscera, without even always intending to so do. It had started being like every other form of mass entertainment, aiming wide and broad, hoping to alienate nobody.

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