The Novel Dies Again
And in the end, it’s not Tony who killed the novel, according to Freeman; it’s the decline of public education, the language of advertising, and the visual tyranny of the screen (television, internet, Blackberry), which has taught our eyes “to scan, and to receive, and less and less to read.”
Perhaps change does involve a kind of death? Or is it that the novel is no longer to be found in the places that one normally associates with it?
But let’s face it, if the novel dies as a popular commodity, that only means the commercial novel. With the exception of a few brand-name authors, literary fiction has mostly vanished from commercial publishers’ lists, taking refuge in the world of small presses. And there may be a paradox in this for literary magazines like The Kenyon Review: as journals expand their online presence, it may become easier for readers to find wonderful poetry and short fiction on their screens than it is to find a novel worth reading in the wasteland of their local Barnes & Noble.