Will Self escreve sobre os romances difíceis e de como é essencial que continuem a ser escritos

“There’s no doubt that in an era of cultural over-abundance, when a few keystrokes can—as if you were some cultural Midas—deliver to you all the literary, filmic and televisual riches the wide world has to offer, the notion of a “difficult” novel becomes almost exponentially harder to sell. But perhaps this figuration gives the game away: difficult novels have never been cultural artefacts you hard sell to anyone; their very existence is predicated on the distinction between cultural and financial capital that, under existing neoliberal conditions, is being comprehensively annihilated. No, a difficult novel has always been something readers aspire to, even if that aspiration only took the form of buying a leather-bound volume from the Book of the Month Club and leaving it to gather dust on your shelves. Unfortunately, I believe that aspiration is now comprehensively waning, as the novel moves from the centre stage of Western culture to its wings. Of course, people will object along these lines: “Joyce’s Ulysses only garnered a smattering of writers during his lifetime—and considering it’s regarded by many critics to be the most important novel of the 20th century, it’s hardly attracted that many since his death…” However, it’s worth considering how different the times were—Ulysses was banned in many countries for obscenity, while literacy and general education levels were far lower in the 1920s.”

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