So We Need an Obama for Literature Then?

Wet Asphalt: “It’s not just that someone who’s really into José Saramago might love Ursula K. LeGuin, but never be exposed to her, and vice versa with LeGuin’s fans, though that’s the most obvious complaint. It’s that it’s clear that the number of people who are reading fiction are dwindling. Fans of Literary Fiction and Speculative Fiction are small, almost religiously fanatical groups with a deep love of the their favorite authors and books, and if the content of those books is so similar so much of the time—and it is—then why is there a division at all? Why can’t they all be fans together? But it’s almost like the fans are too fanatical, creating arbitrary loyalties and irrational prejudices. It’s as if in certain quarters, the words ‘Literary Fiction’ and ‘Speculative Fiction’ have the same weight as ‘nigger,’ ‘spic,’ or ‘kike.’ Listen to the way they say, ‘I don’t read that Science Fiction crap.’ ‘I don’t read that boring, pompous Literary stuff.’ It makes me want to get all the Literary Fiction readers and all the Speculative Fiction readers in one room and throw Kelly Link books at them until they kiss and make up.”


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