Saturday, May 28, 2005

Intellectual Property

This blog will be fast, as I snatch a few minutes from the fiction story I’m concocting. There are multiple mysteries whose solutions I’m not sure about yet, nor if they can hang together. But what fun would an exercise like this be without the suggestion that the novel—well hung or a shreddy embarrassment—is obsolete? Last Sunday a panel assembled here to send the noble-but-dying thing off on an ice floe. Not everyone waved goodbye. The consummately gifted Myla Goldberg did not care if the novel was dead or if it no longer occupied the bull’s eye section of the public conversation. She was writing novels. “There’s alchemy in fiction between the writer and reader. The reader is changed, becomes sad by reading about sad events. The novel gets to draw on anything it wants to. The toolbox is unlimited.” Her next book is due out this fall. Three surpassingly intelligent and talented male writers were also on the panel: Tom Bissell, Josh Tyree, and Morgan Meis. Several expressed concern that writers might be dedicating their time and ambition to literary forms not that many people care about anymore. They go to nonfiction, among other venues, to check out the ways we live now. How many fiction readers are enough? If you throw a party that not everyone tries to crash, can you still get down? Maybe the smartest people around are devising computer programs that learn, and motion sensing technology, and nanobots that swim in blood and detect illnesses before they materialize. But doesn’t someone still have to mop up, giving form to tensions there are no answers or consolations for?

Speaking of mopping, maintenance of the Flux kitchen has improved. The table has been refinished, though the varnish wasn’t entirely dry when it was hauled back inside and two containers placed on top embossed the texts: Support Bottom, advice it is useful to be reminded of. A fair number of penis people have lately been sighted wielding sponges and paper towels at strategic sites. I’m not saying you should come here and eat on the floor or anything.


At 6:13 PM, Blogger Aisha said...

Hi Laurie- This apathy towards novels seems to be correlated with the trend towards TV viewing of epic proportions by today's society. Why read a novel when you can lay camatose infront of a couch only having to touch a finger now and then between comnmercials? I want to write a "memoir" so to speak, sort of like the "Nanny Diaries" but of my experiences teaching in the public school system, yet I wonder how difficult it would be to market such a book when so few people read, period.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I haven't responded, but outside the Flux Factory, the real world of family raising goes on apace and leaves little time. But, it's great living your intense literary/camping out life vicariously! Avanti. Lee


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