Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Boys' Book Club Ponders The Death of the Novel! / Plus, an Important New Hedgehog Update!

Occasionally the boys like to take a short break from the LC's usual boner humor to consider the state of American letters. Today we ask the oft-asked question: "Is the novel a dying art form?"

These days it seems that would-be "artists" would rather publish a raunchy, jokey werewolf series in installments than set down with pen in hand for a serious examination of the human condition. And a new work called
“Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry" seeks to shake up the form a little more. The work appears to be an auction catalog but is, in fact, "a literary conceit: What this book-type object really does is show us the trajectory of a failed four-year relationship — by showing us the physical detritus that two (fictional) lovers leave in their wake" (Amazon).

Chip: "I seriously doubt that ever again will anyone publish a work as good and true as, oh, let's say My Antonia. I mean look at Time magazine's newest list of the 100 Greatest Novels. Watchmen is on there, for goodness sake! It's a comic book, people. A comic book."

Richard: "Myself, I totally look forward to teaching 'Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry' in my consumer culture course."

Ian McEwan, novelist: "When women stop reading, the novel will be dead." (New York Times Magazine).


The fame of young Judson King, local hedgehog enthusiast, keeps growing. On March 9, a crew from the Colbert Report is slated to roll into town for an interview with him and Mayor Mike Dever.

Richard: "Sure, I'm a little sad that I've been satirizing Larryville for years now and Colbert is going to swoop in and get the credit for exposing our silliness! But if it has to be anyone else, I'm glad it's Colbert!"


grisham said...

The novel is dead? I would argue the novel never existed as a true form! The novel is merely a technological creation, rather than an artistic one. The printing press, and the ability to make cheap paper allowed for the "novel" to come into existence - it's really just a long story, and those have been around for centuries!

And it's not as if, from its inception, authors weren't doing bizarre things within their pages - just look at Don Quixote and Tristram Shandy!

Perhaps the novel is a true art form, but if so, it will take more than the aforementioned novel to kill it!

Me, I've always hated novels. Give me poetry!

Bunyip said...

I think most people would agree there's no shortage of novel writers. In fact, many "good" writers wish other writers (so-called "mediocre" writers) would stop writing "mediocre" novels and take the time to read "good" novels.

To me, it doesn't matter whether the novel is dead or not--there's already been more written than I can possibly read in my lifetime.

What a pity!

stephanie meyer said...

It's dead and I helped to run a stake through its heart.

sophie kinsella said...

Hey Stephenie, stop f'in with my art form, bitch!