"Franny Prose will just simply have to face the fact she's a boring writer who no one outside a propped-up group of elitist cadavers cares to read. How many folks did her latest essay put to sleep? How many people does your magazine put to sleep? Oh, I forgot, it has ad democraphics, it's aimed at that elect group of top 5% overeducated liberal affluent time-on-their-hands leisure class who can dawdle over each word of "literature." You know. "Literature." With a big L. How 'bout "LITERATURE." "IMPORTANT." "SLOW." "CAREFUL." "DEAD." "MUMMIFIED." "ALICE MUNRO." I call it the Museum Conception of Literature, perfectly articulated in prose's dry tome. Or maybe the Medicine Conception. One should read LITERATURE because it's good for you. LITERATURE does not adapt to humans. It's a god far above us. We must strain to adapt to it. All honor high holy most unknowable great god LITERATURE. And so the Prose Conception of LITERATURE will someday (soon) be dug up like a time capsule in buried sands to be analyzed like indecipherable hieroglyphics.
Ms. Prose does not realize this of course, in her affluent Manhattan time-capsule world teaching children of the comfortable who all want to pose as complicated "writers" and "artists" to find themselves to fill up the ample hours of their leisure time, but most of the rest of us are in a fast-paced struggle to survive. What do we want from literature? We want a reflection of a corrupt world that very much is made up of good guys and bad guys, right and wrong, good and evil. We want an escape from that world: clear writing that entertains us, moves us, frees us from the pain violence speed stress noise anger violence we live with everyday around us. Great writers like Dickens, Frank Norris, and yes, at his best, John Steinbeck understood this. That's why they were popular, why they were relevant, why they were cherished and read, not dry, difficult, and dead."