Is literature dead?

When I come to think of it, I realize that I can hardly set hands on any remarkable contemporary novel, not to talk about poetry. Sure, there are some good ones, but methinks that the era of talents in literature is gone; writers of stature like Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, Tolstoy, Cervantes, Nabokov, García Márquez or Conrad, just to name a few, are no more. We’re already beyond the end of a particular moment in human history, scarcely four centuries, where the conditions were optimal for such geniuses to spring. But nowadays, with capitalism and consumption suffocating us, most literature is rubbish; not because there aren’t good writers, but because almost everything that happens is about money. The very term best seller says it all: when it comes to literature, the most worldwide known indicator of what’s going on is not called best writer, best poet or best philosopher, but best SELLER! Even over the Nobel prize. So, what can we expect? Today you can publish anything under condition people would buy it, and people will buy anything if it’s properly advertised. Thus we come to… money! At the same time, talented writers won’t get published because they have no time for advertisement: they’re too busy writing good literature that will never see light. On the other hand, public powers are so obsessed with economical growth that they neglect their citizens’ education for a good taste. Besides, we’re in the audiovisual era: don’t expect our lazy natures to read if we can just watch and listen. Perhaps this is a good time for the seventh art! After all, not everything is lost for beauty.

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