Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Orwellian Fantasy

Colin Robinson writes about 'the demise of publishing' in the LRB, here.  

Humour and human warmth notwithstanding, it's a saddening article - and not the sort of thing to read when you're looking over publishing contracts.

('We're all doomed - quick, take any offer!')

I don't know how accurate his predictions are, or how they apply to Australia (often seen as a vassal state of UK publishing).  But it's a sobering story.

The great fear is that it'll sink the bottom line lower; that fine, rare, brilliant works won't see the light of day; that scum will float, and weighty works sink.

If this is true, I've only one obvious consolation: it might help some authors speak more powerfully and persuasively to a mass audience.

And, in my fantasy, they won't do it by appealing to what's vulgar or hackneyed. 

Instead, they'll marry high-minded, mature experience, to lively, alluring or clear prose.  This is what might be called an 'Orwellian' fantasy - in the best sense of the word.

Fingers crossed.

No comments: