Not gone with the wind

Reading fiction has always been a small minority pursuit. Even though the percentage and the sheer numbers of literate people worldwide has soared, it still is. If anything, more so. Of course it can be argued that TV drama, notably including the 'soaps', (most of them low in plot complexity and simplicity itself in subject but very high in production quality), has vastly increased the interest in fiction, but what of fiction in the form of the printed page?

At least in this author's opinion, the TV experience and recent book sales phenomina such as Harry Potter and, though I don't like to admit it, The Da Vinci Code, do prove something. Remember President in waiting Clinton's oft repeated mantra, 'It's the economy, stupid!'? So I would say, 'It's the theme and the story, stupid!' If the theme is of universal enough importance and its expression (the story) is strong enough, people will still have a vital interest. Yes, whether it's on paper, in words on (e-book) screen or pictorially on (cinema or TV) screen, we will buy into the fiction. What do I mean when I say. 'if its expression is strong enough? I mean if the writing and in particular the characterisation is good enough to involve us and furthermore to make us care - in other words to make believable the fiction.

So where, I wonder, are today's works of fiction equal in power to Gullivers Travels, Pride and Prejudice, War of the Worlds, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations?

Gone With The Wind? I don't think so. But then again I wouldn't, would I.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.