I haven’t done a study of this, but I have asked a few fiction writers and they agree with me. Most of the audience for literature is live now. Most of the literature that is heard is not read but taken in by the ear. It’s almost as if we’ve gone back to a time before the book. In every large city spoken word and slams go on nearly every night. Those words may indeed except all the sales of poetry books and literary fiction.
This is what I hear, although I don’t believe it: I write fiction. I am always in my room. I have no friends. I don’t go anywhere. I barely take time to eat and sleep because, well, I write fiction. Tell that to Mark Twain, who was a mighty good billiard player. Tell that to Charles Dickens, who did amateur theatrics and toured the world, as did Mark Twain. Of course I have stretched things a bit on my generalized portrait of fiction writers, for satiric humorous purposes, and of course it’s a generalization that does not apply to all, but you get my drift, and it does have a grain of truth.
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