With all the hue and cry going on at the moment about the collapse of literary culture, it's particularly bracing to read some opposing viewpoints.
Today I happened upon two articles that reveal the monsters confronting us as the gentle creatures they really are.
Did you know that British publisher Orion was about to unleash a line of compact (i.e. abridged) classics? The horror! Or maybe not. In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Terry Teachout outs himself as a childhood reader of Reader's Digest Condensed books. He didn't turn out too bad, and he's betting that many people introduced to literature this way will be ok too. Or it could just be an age thing: "The older I get, the more I appreciate those artists who say what they have to say, then shut up." I couldn't have put it more succinctly myself.
Bob Hoover at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks that, despite book sections being cut left and right, we should all just relax. "The writing and reading of books persevere regardless," he writes. And he's cheered by, of all things, publishers' sales reps, whom he likens to "peddlers of Viagra, sump pumps or beer" but ones who really really love those sump pumps.
More please! Otherwise we might have to go back to gnashing our teeth.