Fiction, Novel, Writing

Death of the novel!

gravestoneThe novel will cease to exist as more than a “cultic” literary form in less than 25 years! Or so says author Philip Roth. The cause of its demise? A multitude of screens.

The movie screen dealt the first blow to the novel. The second blow came from television, with the computer screen following.

Roth says the kind of concentration, focus, and attentiveness required for novel reading is too hard to come by nowadays. I can see his point. We’ve become used to speed. Remember when the microwave seemed miraculously fast? And now, do you ever find yourself wishing it would hurry up?

There’s another screen—the eReader. But though that might challenge the existence of the ink and paper novel, Roth says it won’t save the novel form because it requires the same skills as reading an ink and paper book.

So dear novel lovers, you may find yourself the member of a “cult” sometime in the next two decades. Hmmm. Blue Oyster Novel Readers? The Secret Order of the Novel? Sisterhood of the Novel? What shall we call ourselves?

25 thoughts on “Death of the novel!”

  1. REVOLT! Let’s hear them say “The Bookish are coming. The Bookish are coming!

    Let them non-readers of print eat cake.

    And, yes, me too. I vow to buy and read the books of my writer friends, blog and otherwise.


  2. Reading a book is an altogether different experience than reading online. It’s private. It’s a way to explore a world that someone else invented and that you complete. I think, as the Internet matures, the shakeout will show that some kinds of reading a best done electronically (perhaps newspapers are the best example, since links in a news story are valuable), and some are best done in actual print and paper. Let’s hope so.

    I will work on a badge and get back to you.


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