In the Guardian‘s books blog (or, as they’d have it, “theblogbooks“), National Book Critics Circle president John Freeman muses on “an increasing desire of our entertainment industry to deny its writerly roots” (“Everybody needs writers“). Talk about timely–he works in the Writers Guild of America strike and the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.
We listen to songs on the radio, but without songwriters they’d be pretty boring; we watch news on the television, but without writers it grinds to a standstill. No matter how many ways the world of the image tries to supersede the word, words and language continually reassert their primacy. One of the most obvious examples of this is in American print publications: as newspapers hollow out their coverage of just about everything, magazines like The New Yorker and The Nation have picked up more and more subscribers because they honour good writing.