Yet which writer today can afford to ape J D Salinger and Thomas Pynchon, who have made a virtue of anonymity? When Jonathan Franzen refused to play the marketing media game and go on Oprah to sell his The Corrections, he was accused of intellectual snobbery and derided for his antiquated values. In a way his critics are right. Who would content themselves with reaching an elite few when, by playing the game, they can get their message across to the multitudes? From Simon Schama to David Starkey, contemporary intellectuals have enthusiastically embraced the challenge of reaching the widest possible audience - even while knowing that in so doing they compromise their academic integrity. The days when a clutch of intellectuals sat around the Academy and listened only to one another have long gone. Surely that makes it worth compressing your book into a 90-second plug?
Sunday, November 14, 2004
aping the anonymous Pynchon
From What writer today can ape Pynchon and make a virtue of anonymity? by Cristina Odone, in the Guardian: