The future of the novel?

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

A Knife And A Quill- old

“In the final keynote speech at the 2012 Edinburgh World Writers’ conference, China Miéville asks what the future holds for the novel in cultural, political and digital terms – and concludes with a demand for salaried writing.” The Guardian reprinted his speech in toto, but I thought I would pull out a few highlights because there’s been a lot of conversation about this already. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says here, but there are some important points that touch on the key issues that are keeping the publishing world reeling at present.

A starting point for Miéville is the multiplicity of futures before us, not ‘the future novel’ but futures and novels. One of the pointers toward those futures is the (slight) improvement facilitated by the web and social media, the greater availability of non-English authors in the monolingual world:

And translation is now crowdsourced, out of love…

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