Last week, Will Self declared the novel dead. But so have a lot of people over the last century. Video may have killed the radio star, but who killed the novel? Rebecca Makkai asks that question over at Ploughshares:
Who is to blame for this sad decline? We could look to our digitized lifestyle. Are we less likely to engage with a Death of the Novel essay on a deep level if that essay appears on a screen? What if that screen has lingerie ads down the side of it? What if those lingerie models are wiggling back and forth? See what I mean?
Makkai poses a few more rhetorical tongue-in-cheek questions, but she raises a valid point: we’ve been talking about the death of the novel since the form was first printed, but more novels are written every year.