IT’S ALMOST COMICAL the way The New Yorker and the New York Times (which hyped the affair) proceeded with the unexciting “Twenty Under Forty” writers as if this were fifty years ago, and what they said matters. Intently they mark up their “special issue” (see the Times photo), unaware, apparently, that the buildings themselves within which they work are collapsing. Their circulation and ad revenue are, ahem, dropping. Plummeting. The nature of the writers they chose to spotlight will do nothing to turn this around.
EVEN among the apparatus there must’ve been more compelling personalities, more thrilling writers, to grab onto. You know that when your centerpiece is Jonathan Safran Foer, you’re in trouble.
The opportunity is there for a new course—for writers of vision to realize what’s happening and work to turn the stagnant condition of American literature around. A rare opportunity—one that calls for a blare of trumpets to awake the literary community, and alert the greater populace.