There's an interesting quote by William Vollmann in today's Metro newspapers. (Vollmann's 800-page novel just won the National Book Award.)
"I'm sort of a writer's writer. Most people are pretty bored by what I write about."
Sounds like he's kind of lost the faith. Even he has no confidence in his kind of literary writing-- certainly no belief that it can reach many people. Vollmann is one of the lit-establishment's leading pets. A ton of backing, reviews, criticism, and awards have been invested in the guy.
This is as if one of the Vatican's leading Cardinals came out and admitted he didn't believe in God and didn't see much point in what his church was doing!
Return to your monastery, Vollmann! Let literature return to the hands and voices of those who believe in its power and who have something coherent and necessary to say.