“My real work consists neither of prose or verse, but in the recognition of my own stupidity.” So held the Austrian novelist . He had a point literature »
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William Boyd: Q & A
Any Human Heart-author William Boyd has a new book coming out -- The Romantic -- and at The Guardian Anthony Cummins has a Q & A with the author, William Boyd: ‘The books world is much tougher now’.
Interesting (and troubling) to hear how times have changed:
How has the writing life changed since you began publishing ?As to Stendhal, I' m not so sure that he: "isn’t read so much in English nowadays", as Cummins has it -- recall also, that there's a new translation of Red and Black, by Raymond N. MacKenzie, just out from the University of Minnesota Press; see their publicity page
The 1980s was a kind of boom period but the challenge for a literary novelist now is to just keep the show on the road. It used to be you could write a novel every couple of years or so and have a perfectly nice bourgeois life. Now the mid-list has gone. The brutal fact is you either sell or you don’t. Friends of mine who’ve written 12 novels can’t get published or their advances have dropped by 80%. It’s a much tougher world.
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