I simply don’t worry about fiction. I don’t worry about short fiction or its place in the ecosystem. People set these parameters that are not fair parameters, first of all. I don’t understand that. Is TV replacing books? It’s not a competition for general popularity, or one media form being more popular than another.
All art forms — all culture — is currently lost to video games and pornography. So we’re not asking “Should we have newspapers any more? Should we ever cook a nice meal for the aesthetic pleasure of eating it, because simply, we have lost to porn?” Still, people expect that fiction writers are supposed to wake up in the morning and check their box office mojo and wonder “how does a short story hold up today?”
Most everybody I know that writes, writes because they love books so much because literature has saved their life. It’s about asking the questions and not providing the answers to the deep, deep questions they have that cannot be answered.
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So to me, I think if an art form’s going to die, let it go and good riddance. The photograph did not kill the painting. The moving picture did not kill the photograph. The talkie killed the silent film because it was supposed to die.
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