These are not particularly easy times for novelists. For one, they have to figure out how to stay focused on a single project or idea for a sustained period of time—not exactly a natural instinct in the age of micro-memes and multi-tasking. In addition, they must struggle to continually find ways of keeping their text engaging amid the bustle of small-byte entertainment. And finally, they have to cope with the fact that serious writers no longer enjoy the status of cultural icon, and have been sequestered to a life of relative obscurity.

Yet, for all the obstacles encountering the literary life in modernity, Big Think’s recent guest, Kurt Andersen thinks that, as even corporate culture is looking pretty risky these days, there might still be hope for earnest artists...

In his interview, Andersen not only discusses his strategies for scaling the unforgiving heights of fiction writing, but he also discusses the post-financial crisis zeitgeist how it is gradually re-awakening an interest in the arts and the joys of the creative life.