During my time at the London Book Fair I had the pleasure to hear Howard Jacobson speak. He’s a British author who has won a Man Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question. I should state that I haven’t read any of his novels, but this didn’t stop me from wanting to hear his thoughts about writing. After hearing him discuss his novels, I am interested in reading some. He is an entertaining and highly opinionated man. I’ve always enjoyed listening to people with opinions, as long as they are respectful, which he was. And he’s really funny. He believes that comedy is an important ingredient in novels.
He made one comment in particular that made me ponder. And I would like to throw it out there and hear your opinions. He said that in today’s world, everyone is writing a novel since literature is coming to an end. Jacobson claims that during wartime people become more promiscuous since they think they will die and there is no reason not to have fun. He continues by stating that now that literature is doomed, everyone wants to write a novel and join in the fun before it is too late.
My question for you wonderful folks is do you think literature is coming to an end? And how do you define literature?