Thursday, April 28, 2005
Don't get me wrong. I'm not weeping and wailing because the gates of High Culture have been breached. Oprah put millions of novels into the hands of often reluctant readers, and for that she deserves our gratitude--perhaps even a laurel and hearty handshake. But that petition sounded like it was addressed to the Wizard of Oz, if not to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. (You want fulsome? You got it: "Your daring enabled a new generation of writers to appear." How they appeared before Oprah stirred her quick-rising yeast into the mix is anybody's guess.) I can only reiterate that Oprah is not a magician, and it's not her duty to restore the fluttery pulse of literary fiction in America. That's up to the writers--and, needless to say, the readers.
Not really my intent to single you out and I don't even have an axe to grind on the O thing. I wrote a previous post on it when a guy was very condescending (which you were not really) and it sent me to the keyboard - I saw your post about the same time I saw the article on the B&N stats, and well, you saw what I wrote.
I don't even entirely disagree with you, but a lot of bloggers are making generalizations on this thing and assuming they can get into the minds of these millions of people. I think it's unfair to a lot of (perhaps) intelligent people who need Harpo to sift through the piles and piles of new books published every year.
My spurt of populist interest in this thing has gone much further than my interest, so again, sorry if it seemed like I was singling you out.