30 Things to Tell a Book Snob
I had a great conversation with someone in the writing world recently about how literary writers talk about the demise of the reader, but a) it doesn't exactly exist, and b) to the extent that it does, that's because so many literary writers consider their audience to be other writers. The reader is a different person than a writer, and when the writer forgets that--when s/he writes for him/herself and his/her MFA classmates--then yes, their audience does get smaller. Go figure.
But this article goes way beyond my usual lit fic bashing and genre defense. It's not just about types of writing--it's full of good tidbits. And I don't know who Martin Amis is, but I hate him already!
(Brenda, don't let the Beatles and Shakespeare references defeat the point. They are actually very good entertainers!)
Editing, because this is TOO good not to share, and thanks again to Sarah. The Wikipedia entry on Martin Amis begins:
Right!? I'm going to start a magazine called The New Unpleasantness.
Amis's raw material is what he sees as the absurdity of the postmodern condition and the excesses of late-capitalist Western society with its grotesque caricatures. He has thus been portrayed as the undisputed master of what the New York Times called "the new unpleasantness". Influenced by Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov, and James Joyce, as well as by his father, Kingsley Amis, he has inspired a generation of writers with his distinctive style, including Will Self and Zadie Smith. The Guardian writes that his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis called a "terrible compulsive vividness in his style...that constant demonstrating of his command of English," and that the "Amis-ness of Amis will be recognisable in any piece before he reaches his first full stop.