Earlier this year, Ted Genoways, editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review wrote that ‘most American writers seem to have forgotten how to write about big issues – as if giving two shits about the world has gotten crushed under the boot sole of postmodernism’. The article spawned much interest on even our shores, with editors of harvest magazine and Overland adding to the conversation about fiction, what it is and what it can do. In Issue Three of Kill Your Darlings, Emmett Stinson examines all these arguments and questions the underlying assumption of the what literature is:
But at the heart of Genoways’s screed lies the larger issue of ‘literature’ itself – what it should be (based on essentially unsubstantiated assumptions about what it is) and how to save it from ‘dying’. The crux of Genoways’s argument is that everything will be okay if writers who ‘have become less and less interested in reaching out to readers’ adopt instead an ‘outward glance onto a wrecked and lovely world worthy and in need of the attention of intelligent, sensitive writers’.
You can read the full article here.