Why do the media care so much about the novelist – what pen she uses, what time she gets up in the morning – when they should be concentrating on the novel?
Good piece, this, by Anakana Schofield, author of Malarky
There seems to have been a shift from a reading culture to a writing culture, a diminishment of critical space for the contemplation of literature. Writing needs to be discussed and interrogated through reading. If you wish to write well, you need to read well, or at least widely. You certainly need to contemplate reading a book in translation, unlikely to be widely reviewed in newspapers, many of which are too busy wasting space on “how to write” tips and asking about an author’s personal fripperies. It’s a great deal more fulfilling to read and think about a fine book than to attempt to write one.
There is something wrong with how much of the media approaches authors and books. They seem to believe we no longer appear to value the labour that it takes to read. That we value most of all the status we imagine will come from publishing a book. Are they right? The only really useful status comes from reading and thinking.