To speak mathematically, the shrecklich ratio of greatness to dreck is a shallow curve that never rises far above, but also never sinks to, zero. The electric excitement of encountering a writer of my own time who speaks to me honestly and deeply makes periodic sampling of contemporary fiction a worthwhile experiment.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Re: The Cream of This Year's Fiction According to NBA
I've already commented in demurral to Karl Weber's argument that a cost-benefit analysis supports ignoring contemporary fiction and reading only the classics of the past. Although I find little of interest in contemporary fiction, I would be sorry to miss the occasional, mind-blowing encounter with present greatness that may be ratified into a classic by future readers. To add two living fiction writers to those I mentioned in my comment on Karl's post, I am glad to be able to engage immediately, with no bridge of time to cross, with writers like Thomas Pynchon and Alice Munro.