Monday, September 12, 2011

Has it come to this?

I'm a practical person. I accept that the longed for times when writers wrote and readers read their work has passed. Writers now must write and then they must perform. They must read their work (make sure you read well), they must be entertaining, they must twitter and Facebook and market market market. They must be experts on everything from the status of book reading in Africa to why Mugabe is still president of Zimbabwe...even when you're not Zimbabwean. But this? Has it really truly come to this?

This author is sitting in a shop window during a literary festival and writing while people pass by and gawk at her. Am I the only person who feels very sad about this?

Oh for the times when no one knew us. When the words were what mattered. When publishers sold our books, not us.

History, I guess. Nothing more than history now.


Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

I share your sentiment, but I'd sit in a window if that what it takes to get people to buy my book.

What comes to mind is images of other people showing off their jobs by sitting in windows (and standing in doorways ;)

Oh, for the old days when all you had to do is write a book and your publisher did the rest. I was there once. Sigh.

Joyful said...

Unbeleivable! It gives new meaning to performance artist.

Seriously though, I think for many of us who don't write for a living, the process of writing and producing a book is mysterious and alluring. We want to know and understand (and see perhaps) the way it all comes together. That is a positive spin on this event. I classify myself in this camp.

I guess a negative spin is we are now so used to mindless celebrity culture that we want to see "celebrities" doing whatever, anything as part of their daily lives. I for one don't fall into this camp but I'm sure many do.

Sue Guiney said...

very bizarre, but alas, not surprising.

karen said...

Nothing really surprises me any more - the things people will do for publicity!!Great to catch up on your blog, after what seems like ages away from blogging. I also think my email to you might have gone astray, so will resend soon..