Hat-tip to Fergus Barrowman for pointing me in the direction of this previous example of literary doom and gloom from 1980. I’m not sure that I really understand what it might mean for fiction to have a ‘crisis’, but it’s an interesting article nonetheless. I like this quote:
‘Indeed, the Present Crisis should be, in the end, not a cause for despair but celebration. New outlets must be developed if creative prose is to find its readers, let alone be supported by them.’
Bill Buford-Granta 1980
Of course the young editor, Robert McCrum went on to become one of the literary forces of his day and presided over one of Faber’s most fertile periods as a fiction publisher. You could also argue that those new outlets arrived. In the shape of Waterstone’s.
Off to Auckland today to talk about books etc. Back tomorrow.