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Monday, December 1, 2008

The Confirmation of Fiction

I was reading an article in the New York Times about how writing is now being outsourced to India. Newspapers are now employing someone in India to write about what is happening in Scranton. Amazing. But of course it is economics. Those same disembodied voices that tell us we are late on our credit card payment will now be reflecting on our fourth of July parade down mainstreet. This leads to the second biggest fear in publishing--the digitizing of books into bits and bytes. The death of the book. Put these two together and you have the perfect outsourced culture, complete with disembodied voices that flow to us from places we know not. Too bad humans are flesh and blood. Then it would be perfect. But we aren't cyber. Not yet anyway. So we may read our books on smart phones or we may read the latest rumination from India on the quality of sweet corn in Iowa, but we still need our stories. And those have to come from people who know our wants and needs and cannot be outsourced. And lying in the hammock just wont do it with our kindle or our phone. Too much like work. In the final secret hour of our communion with the written word we turn back into the flesh and blood creatures hiding behind those screens and i phones. And we know we are mortal. So we look for our humanity, however it is delivered. We look for our fiction.

Books by William Hazelgrove