Sunday, March 4, 2012

On electronic pulp fiction: 'delete' fiction

Set your Kindles to 'stun'.

I've a column in today's Sunday Age, 'Narcotic for the mind: inhale rapidly, then delete at will'.

Prompted by the rise of cheap, disposable ebooks on Amazon and elsewhere, I'm revealing the value of this new 'pulp'.  A sample:
Delete fiction is designed to stave off boredom, ennui, anxiety, exhaustion - as a mild stimulant or narcotic. In this, it is an admission of frailty or diminished ambition: not for the author, but for the reader. It keeps the restless or tired mind busy, but not too busy; we think and feel, but gently, predictably. 
This is not a criticism. Humankind cannot bear very much reality, as T. S. Eliot put it. Most of us find time for idle leisure, which neither edifies nor educates. Delete fiction scratches this existential itch, in a benign way.

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