Fiction Today

Fiction today is threatened from within by stylistic obscurantism and self-obsession; from without it is endangered by television, consumerism, and social dedication to objective possession rather than to thought and awareness. These perils will strengthen American fiction. As self-oriented, intentionally complex novels continue to suffer in the marketplace, more novelists will revert to writing as a shared experience with the reader . . . We have an ancient role as both entertainers and creators of awareness; we fail when we try to be solely one or the other . . . Novels today face a world where . . . the inherently unsatisfying search for physical possession and accomplishment is far more prized than the individual’s pilgrimage toward awareness. This is a writer’s challenge: to reveal the sham behind the glitter and politics, and to enliven the reader’s taste for freedom, being, and dedication to others and to the deepest self.

Library Journal, 3/15/1985

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