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  • Hi, Curtis.

    It's frightening to consider the destructive efforts of the megalithic multinational corporations, destructive not only because they advance a system of exchange that dishonors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment, but also destructive to aesthetic invention and innovation and critical thinking. So I thoroughly applaud and echo your rage against this machine here.

    On another note, you write:
    "Literature requires a culture, a book culture, and the ebook and the web, for all of their wizardry, will forever be solipsistic."

    It's a damning sentence, but is it a death sentence? I'd love to see you further contrast "book culture" from whatever it is that engages with the newer media. In other words, how is book culture, as you define it, different, and presumably better than (as far as literary art goes) e-book and web culture?

    Thanks for your thoughts here.

    Take care,

    John
    --
    www.johnmadera.com

    Posted by John Madera on Sat 8 Oct 2011

  • I agree. I am drawn to a similar conclusion about the current and future states of "book culture." As Walter Ong taught us, book culture, for all the diversity of thought it promoted in its earlier eras, is really a machine whose end is a monolithic culture.

    I studied lit years ago with an old guy, Vince Miller. He was not particularly a "new critic," and didn't really have a lot of use for them. I recall he had a debate with Mortimer Adler of "Great Books Curriculum and Encyclopedia Britannica" fame over the teaching of a literary canon of great books. He argued that if you taught only "great books" and dictate what constitutes "literature" to every generation, you'd eventually kill literature and the tradition(s)out of which new growth comes. You'd kill off "change" that enables you, as Pound put it, "to make it new."

    The depressing state of literary publishing is only so if we think "Literature" is only to be had at the grace of the publishing industry. That is no more the case than the notion that food is only to be had at the giant grocery store.

    Posted by Mitch Lee on Mon 10 Oct 2011

  • "... and it will be good if the authentic spirit of change is upon it" - wow! Thanks for the great quotes.

    I wonder if young poets will find their way online. I mean, to counteract Amazon, poets only have to post their bodies of work online, and then if enough critics gather around it - lo and behold, poetry! It may be near impossible, however, looking for poetry across the web, as you've said. But we no longer have a choice. If you don't want to write the bestseller du jour, then there's only the internet. Poetry will have to be a side occupation again. Not a hopeless state of affairs, I don't think. Amazon may publish all the pop writers the world wants, it won't touch poetry.

    Posted by TTran on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • There are real questions as to how we determine what the 'great works of Literature are' and how they will endure. I suppose none will endure a massive asterorid. But this does not mean that every writer who publishes his next effort on Createspace is equal to Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Kafka, Dante, Joyce, Proust, Dostoevsky, Chekhov etc, the true greats of world - literature.
    There is a certain community or perhaps a number of communities of readers who throughout the world know and care for Literature and what is good and great in it. This is not going to disappear.

    Posted by Shalom Freedman on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • I don't think literature will ever die.form may change E book take place of printed books but urge to say some thing to some one is natural instinct how can it die?From ancient time people using different form for to tell, oral, writing on palm of tree,stone and other many devises.So we must not lament for dying of printed books. We must celebrate reading e books on Kendal.

    Posted by Ramesh Raghuvanshi on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • Dear Mr. White,
    your espousal of the existence of a Great Tradition leads me to think you believe some of the Great Works in this tradition precede early modern publishing and marketing. Such works were able to be found by their readers. So, too, will great works be able to be found by readers now and in the foreseeable future; indeed published review and word-of-mouth are easier to find now than ever they were.
    Will there be demand for such works commensurate with their artistic merit? Possibly not, but that is a consequence of change in the public and its tastes, not change in publishing and its means.

    Doubtless writers will have their earnings reduced the greater the relative power of publisher/distributors. But professionalism in a technical sense does not imply excellence, nor does amateurism (again in a technical sense) necessitate inferior quality. Noone, artist or otherwise, is guaranteed that what he does will earn a livelihood. This is not a matter to be celebrated, but it remains the case that many of the towering novels, poems, and essays of human culture were written (just as proofs, concerti, experiments, and paintings were composed) for little or no material reward.
    All of the dreadful books of the kind you rightly deride are available, and will continue to be so. But that is not a problem of publishing, nor does it fill me with invincible dread for the fate of literature.

    As when people bemoan the state of politics, it is all too easy to blame exogenous things; politicians, publishers, critics. But the cause, in a democracy or market, is largely endogenous; the electorate, the reading public. We (in aggregate) ask for those dreadful books of 'strategic insights' and mis-spelled reflexions on love and loss by graduates of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. So be it: so long as we are still able to ask for Durrel, Juvenal, Laird or Canetti, cui malo? If the reading public have the discrimination required to sort the wheat from the chaff, then good books will still be read, and if not, then the form of the publishing industry is of little consequence.

    Finally, I wonder why you find eBooks and the web "solipsistic". Very few of us (I hesitate to say "none") regularly declaim, except, perhaps to children or the infirm, even reading verse. As for bookshops, I cannot say I've noticed a decline in browsing (though I have noticed a decline in small bookshops). From what I can see in countries as diverse as the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Switzerland, bookshop-browsing is just as popular and eusocial activity as it was before the internet. Your point that people go to Amazon with "a beast in view" is very true; they browse in bookshops and talk to friends, and even read critics in order to decide what to extract from the web. This is bad news for physical bookshops, but I don't think it follows that it is bad for letters.
    Respectfully yours,

    Sasha Maiyah

    Posted by Sasha Maiyah on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • I'm out here in the Dallas suburbs. Thanks to your sublime article, I, once again, faintly remember what it is like to live in a world of ideas.

    Posted by Kristine Christlieb on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • With billions of people on the net, obscure books will now
    have far more readers.

    Amazon has no lock and no control. Anyone can put an ebook on
    the net, and they are easy to find.

    You are so 20th century!

    Posted by hinton on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • Mr. White,

    Your article is one of the rare ones that have dared to take apart the myth of the "independent bookseller". In some respects, they were worse than the conglomerates; instead of interchangeable managers getting generalized stocking decisions made from afar, you often got independents that were, based on my experience, glorified airport bookstores that only carried what they were expecting their local customers to want: detective novels, cookbooks, celebrity biographies and so on. But who is to blame them? They were not trying to shape the tastes of their customers; they were just responding to them, and had to do so to remain in business, and most had to cope with limited space to begin with. If customers had started asking for experimental poetry in Urdu, you could safely have expected to find shelves full of it, either at Barnes & Noble or at your local friendly independent bookstore. What you could reliably find at both, by the way, was your so-called canon, or at least the better-known part of it, because even independents knew it would sell.

    This makes me wonder, then, what type of bookstore whose passing you lament. Excluding the conglomerates and the mainstream independents leaves us with only the niche bookstores, that were in business not so much to make money but to propagate a cause: Marxism, queer studies and so on. I have nothing against niches -- far from it -- but the pandering element is still very much there.

    You seem to fear, above all, the lack of competition that started under the large chains and now seems to have shifted to the web. From a competition/price perspective, there might be cause for concern (especially for authors and publishers), but I don't think homogenization is a problem, inasmuch as bookstores are not in a position to create it (unlike, say, the concentration of the press). Even if a large chain doesn't carry a book in stock, it's likely to have an account with most distributors and publishers, and will gladly special-order any obscure title you might be looking for; it's more money going to them anyway.

    Where the situation could be potentially dangerous is if a particularly dominant bookseller decides to sell specific books for purely moral reasons. Here in Canada, the Chapters-Indigo chain is the bookstore behemoth, and in 2001, the CEO of the chain came across a book that said very, very bad things, so she had it banned from her stores. That book was Mein Kampf. Here is how she justified it: "We consider it hate literature. With freedom of expression, the line is drawn on hate literature. It's a corporate decision. It's what we stand for. It's our point of view." Beyond the inevitable "duh" response, Canada does have laws on hate speech, but the book is not banned -- historical importance and all that -- and her decision was quickly likened to Fahrenheit 451. She backtracked, eventually, but when Amazon wanted to expand into Canada a few years later -- which her company tried to block by citing foreign ownership regulations -- it was greeted like a saviour, even though there were plenty of reasons to fear it.

    Amazon's decision to enter publishing was predictable and natural. Doesn't Barnes & Noble publish books itself, even if only reprints of out-of-print works? Doesn't it own part of iUniverse, a print-on-demand service, and even have an agreement to carry the most promising titles it churns out? For that matter, there is nothing new in the publisher-bookseller combination; a cursory search of Paul Elder's bookstore (closed in 1968) reveals that it was also a publisher of diverse works on subjects such as local history, the arts, and even poetry. Amazon? Too large for anyone's good, but it's going to take more evidence to persuade me that things were much better in publishing under the virtual monopoly of Bertelsmann.

    One last thing: When you write that "no one working in the store read books, and they were no more capable of recommending a challenging literary title than they were of shaping your investment portfolio or diagnosing a kidney complaint", I have to ask whether it is the bookstore personnel's job to give suggestions or promote titles. I think you are right in calling those employees Willy Lomans (even though it implies that they are losers for working there), because that's how retail works. I remember my time working in an appliance store, where salesmen had no previous experience in appliances, but had plenty of experience as salesmen: tires, cars, swimming pools, anything that paid on commission. Some people I knew with plenty of experience in appliances (as repairmen, etc.) were not hired because they lacked sales experience. Just as that store wasn't looking for appliance experts as opposed to sales experts, bookstores aren't looking for reading advisors as opposed to clerks. Is it fair to expect, then, your average large-chain employee, paid minimum wage, to know anything about literature? (And why literature specifically? Why not history, science, politics, economics, or any other subject encountered in non-fiction?) English graduates might be desperate, but somehow I don't think they are that desperate.

    Posted by Vetty on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • One word: samizdat. Book publishing and retailing evolves, but words cannot be suppressed.

    Posted by Oxhead on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • 'Tis True, 'tis True 'tis pity, And pity 'tis 'tis True.' But what is one to do? The digital world is upon us and I for one have tentatively joined it, collecting my library of books in the public domain on my Kindle (for $00.00 or at worst $.99). I still frequent used bookstores, there to smell the mold while I search for little treasures. And my titles remain in print much longer than they would have otherwise.

    Oh, and one detail from the article: it's sending out Lomans, not Loman's.

    Posted by Richard Geldard on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • Fear not the changes, dear people. Economic and business structures come and go. Don't make permanent in your mind that which delivers the word; please remember that it is the word that is made immortal the moment it is written. Be content with knowing that forward is the only direction we travel. Poetry is the essence of being human and will be the machine code of artificial intelligence when computer languages develop far enough. It will be the creativity of the poets who, in sight of the human condition, can put the word on paper and processor, and provide our technology with the discernment to follow us into greatness. Keep writing! Your words are the most important tool our species have yet devised. Our technology has always taken our words' energy and converted it to action, so write, because your originality is the fuel of technology's future. Amazon, Google, the rest of the internet are elegant, empty lattices without you. Place yourself at the center of it all and thrive. We are so lucky to be here at the beginning. We get to fill in the foundations.

    Posted by Tim Loomis on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • I've published 3 books with Amazon POD and Ebook. It's free and the quality of printing is professional. I can even make revisions after it's offically published. Since it's difficult for an author to proofread his own work, I really appreciate this feature. Amazon even allows the potential reader/buyer to read an excerpt in "Look Inside" and lets the author pick 5 to 7 keywords to link to his book's sales page.

    The negative side of this type of publishing with Amazon is that POD is regarded as inferior. It seems informed readers avoid it.It still has to win the acceptance of authors, agents, bookstores and publishers. Another problem is that POD self-published books aren't taken seriously enough for industry reviews. Only Amazon customers who've bought and read the book(s) are allowed to post them.

    Despite this I'm grateful for Amazon's service. I see it as the future of publishing, and that the long frustrating labor of getting published first in magazines to gain a name and credentials or getting a literary agent who can sell your manuscript to New York publishers is now no longer necessary.

    Posted by Michael Dashiell on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • This is too blinkered a view.
    Shakespeare, the Number One figure of English literarure, never published — or more precisely, if what he did publish were all we knew of him, very few of us would ever have heard of him. What he wrote mainly was scripts for plays. These seem to have been mostly well received by London theater-goers of the time, so much so that pirating booksellers put more or less corrupt versions of some of them on the market. After he died his fellow actors had the lot printed up in one volume. Some people bought it. The playwright's repuation spread. Further editions followed, and within a century Shakespeare was being exalted by his countrymen as their great national poet.
    It should be borne in mind that the entire English-speaking population of the world in Shakespeare's time was roughly equal to the population of a city like San Francisco today, with a smaller percentage of it describable as literary or even literate.
    I have no idea whether Shakespeare — or Dostoyevsky, or Proust, or anyone else — will survive. Predicting the future is folly, as it is folly to believe that things of the mind, like literature, always owe their fortunes in the world to the economic sub-structure that upholds them. The latter is a Marxoid delusion, and Shakespeare's case is one of many that belie it.

    Posted by Paul Leopold on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • Storytelling goes on, because it is innate to the species. Digital books are presently driving a revolution in publishing; an author who couldn't get a deal 5 years ago can now publish an ebook, and begin distribution overnight. No self appointed lit-crit gatekeepers ( the article fails to consider how much this select elite has controlled literary output in the analog era) to judge who is worthy...this is only serving to expand the literary universe, not diminish it. I do not doubt that Gutenberg faced similarily dire responses, but it remains a fact that I can acquire books today that I simply couldn't get a decade ago, and this is on account of amazon. There'smore chaff, but this is a small price to pay for the proletariatiaztion of the publishing world: the world of hip independent booksellers was always a fairly closed, insular realm, governed by a kind of literary elitism: in this sense, it greatly limited the realm of literary expression. Bookshops are dying, but publications are multiplying...one can lament the loss of an aesthetic and cultural epoch embodied by the hipster bookseller, but this should not be confused with the demise of storytelling, and our ability to access them.

    Posted by Digger on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • This jumble of an essay never seems to find its footing. Is this an exposee on the avariciousness of Amazon or a lament for the clean and well lit bookshop of olde? Is his "literature" that with a classic, capital L or the vastly more numerous unread tomes condemned from conception to be unknown, unread and thus, unimportant? A written work will always rise to the level of its readership. The larger question is how to insure that the printed word, no matter the format by which it is delivered, can continue to exercise its transformative magic on capable readers.

    Posted by Cyrus on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • I worked at the Pickwick Bookstore on Hollywood Blvd. in the the late 1960s. It was everything a bookstore should be (but of course it has been gone for a long time now). Everyone who worked in the store was an avid reader. Many were college graduates with degrees in the liberal arts. We worked for very low wages, because we wanted to spend our days in a literary environment. The store encouraged us to borrow books and take them home so that we could recommend titles to the customers. They provided us with copies of the New York Times Book review section each Thursday so that we could read the reviews and know what was what. Of course the store promoted best sellers and the other commercial output decried in your essay, but there was plenty of shelf space given to literary fiction, serious history and biography, poetry, drama and the great works of centuries and millenia gone by. I remember long and serious discussions of new books by Kurt Vonnegut, Phillip Roth, John Updike, Nabokov and others with fellow staff members. I also remember being made aware of important writers that I had not discovered in college, via these discussions with other members of the staff - John Barth standing out among these. In short, we cared very much about the literature we were selling. I feel very lucky to have had that experience. I can remember working side by side with Louis Epstein, the founder and, at the time, elderly owner of the store, who was himself a legend in the book world, a great lover of books and the literary tradition we seem to be losing. Eventually Pickwick was sold to B. Dalton, which in turn became part of one of the big chains. Now they're all gone. But as you say, change is the real subject of literature, and the times they sure are a changin'. On the other hand, I get 30 dollar books from Amazon for 16 dollars. It's not all bad.

    Posted by dan rosen on Fri 21 Oct 2011

  • Hello, Curtis. Thanks for your inspiring words. Yes, inspirational, because, even while you toll the industry's death, there are we writers yet out here, much as yourself, who write for the purpose of literary expression to captivate, enthrall, and change readers' lives. We have to find those readers, of course, because they still exist, even though in small numbers and infiltrated by distractions.

    The digital world gives possibility even as it takes something away ... perhaps also "possibility." This is the revolution in which we writers have been thrust, and how we respond can make all the difference in 10, 25, and certainly 100 years. I don't lament the death of traditional publishers: greedy, self-satisfied, hucksters of pap sold to pap-lovers. That goes for agents, too!

    I have written two novels in the past six years, one of which (The Village Wit) I ended up self-publishing through Amazon POD (and other ebook outlets), but through my self-branded "Siren & Muse Publishing" company. Sales have been good! Next year I shall publish a new novel, likely in the same manner, as I've sent out 75 agent queries and have only got 5 responses.

    While there is enough chaff out there in the POD/ebook market, the wheat shall find the readers' mill. This has always been thus; something "Don Quixote" rode on more than 400 years ago.

    Mark Beyer
    www.bibliogrind.com
    www.sirenandmuse.com

    Posted by Mark Beyer on Sat 22 Oct 2011

  • Meanwhile, in the real world far removed from Curtis White's negative fantasies, I have read more "classics", literary fiction and poetry, over the past three years by accessing such works on line. White's apocalyptic attitude reminds me of those who probably objected to the printing press putting quill and ink writers out of business.

    Posted by Hugh Kinsella on Sat 22 Oct 2011

  • Well,

    Not really. But I'm trying.

    We must try and understand that brilliance will always shine through, eventually. There will always be seekers and they will find quality wherever it is and promulgate.

    Maybe the problem is not content but format.

    I have been a bookseller, publisher and a bad writer but when I see quality I shout about it to others.

    We are in an acceleration phase, it will slow down.

    The real issue could be that western thought may have to take a back seat to 'new' thought coming from the less encumbered cultures to whom modern tech is normal.

    Cheers
    DAK

    Posted by david knowles on Mon 24 Oct 2011

  • I was hoping this article would fulfill its promise by speculating on what the essential virtues of literature are, and how the electronic distribution revolution might affect their transmission. Instead, we got some blather about capital-n Nobility, and second-rate transcendentalist verse.

    That books will continue to be written and published is not in doubt. The real question is: will there be a community of readers who discover new books, or merely a passive market that buys what the publisher tells it to buy? The publishers prefer the latter situation, as they have always done. There is a place for Amazon, but what we need is a mainstream resource that will serve the reader first - a YouTube or Facebook of literature.

    Posted by Ford on Mon 24 Oct 2011

  • I don't understand this supposed fear and loathing of a future where ideas are more easily shared, and more widely shared, than at any point in human history. If you see ideas confined to "literature" and bound up in a fixed thing called "a printed book," then I feel sympathy for that loss. For the rest of us, it's a wonderful, hysterical time to be in the business of dreams.

    Posted by Scott Nicholson on Mon 24 Oct 2011

  • Neither independent bookselling nor radical ideas nor "book culture" depends on the existence of physical books and bookstores. There are no real barriers preventing a publishing company (or a group of interested writers) starting up a e-publishing outfit to compete with Amazon.com. Finding a book you want online in 2011 is ridiculously easy. Yes, it's harder to stumble upon a gem, but it's easier to know about gems in the first place because they get tweeted, reviewed, shared, and blogged all around web ad infinitum.

    Amazon will only control e-publishing if slow-moving competitors let it. E-readers are a very useful, potentially disruptive tool when it comes to the sharing of knowledge, information, and literature. Amazon is gaining lock on the e-publishing is because they are selling a reasonably priced device specifically for the medium.

    Posted by Ben on Tue 25 Oct 2011

  • Dear Curtis,

    Don't forget that posting is but the first step in the dialog with your readers. We patiently await your response(s).

    Posted by Thad McIlroy on Wed 26 Oct 2011

  • I can't tell you all how much I enjoyed this whole discussion - what a joy to [accidentally]come across it. Thanks to all of you who participated.

    Posted by carolyn matthews (taylor) on Thu 27 Oct 2011

  • The good news is that digital publishing allows decentralization at the same time it allows centralization. Amazon has seized the initiative and set itself up as the monopolistic new communications force, but the internet also does away with the need for centralized distribution: anybody can put a digital book up on a local website and make it available to millions through the magic of search engines. This fact contains the key to the undoing of the Amazon/Google/Apple would-be monopolies and in time I believe you will see an unprecedented diversity of publishing channels courtesy the internet. This will be good for literature.

    Posted by rocky blanco on Thu 27 Oct 2011

  • Dear sir,
    Your are wrong. Your view of history is skewed and thus, your conclusions end up ill-conceived and faulty.

    The majority of books printed since Gutenberg's days have always belonged to the group mediocre-to-ridiculously-bad. A century, more or less, is needed to sift away the sand from the gold nuggets. And it is the readers, not the critics or the publisher's gate-keepers that find the treasures.

    Internet will not change the importance of a trusted friend's book recommendation, it will make it more valuable.

    And there will be more of better literature than ever before, because the publishing companies' marketing and trend departments no longer make sure that only books of a type that has already been proven lucrative will be published.

    Best of all, e-books never go out of print and can be distributed everywhere. All that is necessary is to foster a love of reading is a book-friendly home and elementary school.

    Writers and readers make literature. Critics are strictly optional.

    Posted by Tina Back on Thu 27 Oct 2011

  • Calm down.

    I am reminded of the music industry. We've all heard the cautionary tale about the internet blowing into town and decimating it. Maybe they were slow to change or maybe their vanquishing was inevitable; either way, we are endlessly asked to believe, only a shell of the industry remains, and even that is tottering.

    But here's the funny thing: Never before has so much outstanding new music been so readily available. There is iTunes and Pandora and Spotify, all of which will note your tastes and recommend new things you might like, very much like an old-timey corner bookstore clerk. Meanwhile singers and bands who once needed recording studios just to create music and factory-owning corporations to distribute it can now record professional-quality tracks in their apartments and offer them for sale to the world. Is their stuff hard to find? Most of it, most likely, but so much good stuff does bubble to the top -- through sites like Pitchfork, music blogs, and the aforementioned services -- that I am often hard-pressed to say "who" I am listening to these days, because so many excellent artists are so regularly brought to my attention. Perhaps I care about music more than the man on the street, but the man on the street also more likely than not never stepped into his corner bookstore to avail himself of its serendipity. Yes, music companies are hurting. True, there are fewer and fewer "rock stars," for all the good they did anyone. But the casual and avid listener alike is fathoms better off than before the internet "ruined everything," and there's no reason to think the same thing won't come to be true of literature.

    Authors will self publish. That means NO editorial or corporate voice quashing controversial ideas, whatever that even can mean in this day and age. That means EVERY book ALWAYS available to virtually EVERYONE. Yes some digging for the good stuff will be required, same as always. However, just as happened with music, more and more increasingly-helpful services will emerge alongside digital publishing to help readers sort the wheat from chaff. Some may bristle at the idea of a computer algorithm recommending new authors, but nobody with a Netflix account can deny their often uncanny usefulness.

    Quite honestly it's hard to think of a downside to publishing going digital. Every facet of the process will grow frictionless and new and cheaper works will appear at unprecedented rates. And, just as happened with the iPod and online music, as the process of acquiring literature grows ever easier and more rewarding, more and more people who had never been drawn to it or had drifted away will take to reading, which will in turn inspire better and better work from more and more authors. Perhaps some who were used to how things had always been will grumble and feel displaced, but in the larger scheme of things they of course are meaningless.

    Posted by mattheww on Wed 9 Nov 2011

  • As an entrepreneur Google (Gmail, Google Documents, Picassa, Youtube) all fit into our world. They are so "on" it's amazing. Read Doug Merrill's book (former CTO of Google)- Getting Things Done in the Age of Google - it's very enlightening and informational. Amazon - there model is just perfect, including all of the things they are rolling out as part of Amazon Prime.

    Posted by David Vynerib on Fri 18 Nov 2011

  • I hope you weren't as careless with all your facts as in your outrageous suggestion that Jane Austen could be found at a London tea with publishers and fellow writers. The woman hardly set foot in London in her whole life, did not deal with her publishers, and never met a famous person.

    These facts are so well known as seriously to undercut the reliability of your polemic. But wiser heads have already rebutted much of that in the discussion here.

    Posted by Roger Evans on Sat 26 Nov 2011

  • Hi Curt,

    As usual, the bean heads line up to have a go at you. There's probably one or two blog entries above that even warrant the time to read. That's the way it usually goes, sad to say, but that doesn't mean that what you do and think shouldn't continue to evoke from the idiocracy all the ire and fantasmal postulating that the half assed reader and hair brained would be intellectual is capable of spewing. You are simply a much better thinker and more careful reader than maybe 90 percent of the poseurs above. I wish you still talked to me, but since you don't, this is one way to at least show you that I still applaud your literary and social commentary. As you know, never was much of a fan of your fiction, but then again, as you also know, I believe only a handful of writers who call themselves novelists are worth even a glance. Certainly not the boobs above who claim to be writers (except Rosen, I think; his entry is sensitive and insightful and wonderfully whimsical).

    Keep going Curt; you are a winner!

    d

    Posted by e/== on Sat 23 Jun 2012

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Curtis White is a novelist and social critic. His recent work includes The Barbaric Heart: Faith, Money, and the Crisis of Nature, and a novel, Requiem.
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