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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu XVIII

Buzz, Balls & Hype has an essay from the literary agent, Simon Lipskar, which attempts to bring some reasoning back into the equation which asserts that an author is responsible for the performance of his book:

. . . we’ve reached a stage of sound and fury in which a whole lot of effort may not signify very much. It’s depressing to admit this, but if anything, I think it should be freeing for authors to realize that the burden of turning their books into bestsellers remains where it has always been: on the publishers.


Nature Network reports on the long, slow death of literature.

“A total of 89.9 million (American) adults did not read books in 2002. The number of books bought in the US in 2003 was reported in May to have fallen by 23m from the year before, to 2.2 bn.

. . . the decline was especially severe among 18 to 24-year-olds. Only 43% had read any literature in 2002, down from 53% in 1992.”


Zoe Williams – Fighting for collective rights in The Guardian:

So help me, I have no interest in a deputy leadership election that has already happened. I have no interest in whether Harriet Harman has been attacked more because she’s female or less. I don’t agree with Sarah Sands, writing on these pages yesterday, that the “most striking characteristic of leftwing middle-class feminists is their self-importance”, but only because she seems to think you could separate middle-class lefties from middle-class rightists via their self-importance, when actually, on that score, it would be harder than telling two ducks apart. I am just interested in the first principle, which is wrong. Westminster does not need more women in it. It needs more feminists in it, and the first principle of feminism is that you don’t need to be a woman to be one.

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