At Salon, Lydia Millet gets serious about sexism, climate change and extinction, and the literary establishment’s dismissal of funny books:
“Important” serious books often seem to be picked based on the simplicity and safety of their content as a barometer of upper-middle-class cultural preoccupation, and humor’s too complex and ambiguous to be a flagship like that. Plus it doesn’t seem to demonstrate contrition; basically it doesn’t apologize hard enough for the culture. Right? Earnest books are picked for fancy prizes. Funny books aren’t picked for fancy prizes. Because with funny books, the establishment can’t be absolutely sure where meaning lies.