Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Writers Welcome A Literary President-Elect

Not all the news in the literary world is gloomy despite the massive layoffs at publishing giants like Time Warner and Doubleday, closures of such magazines as Slate and the financial upheaval at book distributors like Borders.

More and more often, I'm hearing pundits and writers likening this time period to the Depression and comparing the president-elect's challenges to FDR's. For me and many other writers this is good news. Why? As times get tough, people will need an escape. That's why Gone With the Wind sold over 1 million copies in the depths of Depression, gambling and drinking soared (and no doubt cigarette sales), and people filled the movie houses. That news consoles me and other people who make a living by writing. Another bit of hope is knowing that our president-elect, who established himself in literary circles well before he ran for president, will bring an appreciation of the literary and creative dimension of our culture and will hopefully encourage expansion of our cultural institutions and outlets. Like FDR, I hope he starts creative initiatives like the WPA projects which induced a creative outpouring in the arts.

To hear what other writers like Rick Moody and Toni Morrison think of the Obama election, cut and paste this link in your browser:

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