The spark is dying out for literature, once a major facet of culture. Television, movies, and digital distractions compete heavily for the public’s attention. Media monopolization doesn’t help. (How often do they give us new writers as good as Orwell or Dostoyevsky?) Worse, their politically correct tyranny is putting the final nail into the coffin.
It’s about how you look, not how you write
As we’ve covered earlier, straight White guys are unwelcome as new authors, especially for serious highbrow novels. The New York literary establishment excludes much talent. Established writers can keep making money for the corporations. However, guys like Melville, Poe, Twain, Faulkner, Hemingway, Kerouac—to name a very few—today would face great difficulty getting the critical first sale. Some genres like science fiction aren’t as bad, though that’s been converged too.
“Inclusiveness” is the trendy justification. Some argue that women and minorities were underrepresented in the past. However, ethnic literature has been quite fashionable since the 1960s. Women and GLBTs have been writing since Sappho. Furthermore, shutting out everyone except them certainly isn’t inclusive! Talent should stand on its own merits.
Can a one-legged genderqueer Scientologist lesbian from Timbuktu write well? If she’s talented, then yes. However, ticking several diversity checkboxes doesn’t make her a better author than anyone else.
The diversity dilemma
For those who beat the odds, it’s basically impossible to write anything without potentially catching flak. There are several style guides for politically correct writing, and some make the income tax code seem pretty straightforward by comparison. According to various opinions:
- If a story doesn’t include enough women and minorities, that’s not inclusive.
- Including them to be inclusive is tokenism.
- Portraying them negatively is bad.
- Overdoing positive traits is patronizing.
- Any common characteristic that ...
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