Literature is Doomed?

What you will currently read is most likely an unpopular opinion, but nonetheless I hope you will read and perhaps take my perspective into consideration. If you are easily offended by diverse viewpoints on a topic, then please scroll to the next blog entry.

Now for those who are still reading…

If you have a favorite actor, youtuber, or any other public icon (which I am sure you do), you may have noticed that in recent years it’s been a trend for them to publish their own books. What’s more upsetting is that millions of their fans and “followers” buy their books, bringing the book up to the top ranks of bestseller lists. Let me state that about roughly 75% (if not more) of these books are autobiographical, or mostly based on their real life events. Now this is not a surprise, since autobiographies have existed as a genre of writing for decades. Though, it is unsettling to think that writing a book is now considered something that doesn’t even require talent, or literary experience. Everyone stitches together a few memories from their trip to the beach, or winter holidays, throwing in one sad memory, and call it a quality novel. They send it to an editor to make it more presentable, and BOOM! you have a new #1 New York bestseller.

As a lover of books and aspiring writer, this fact offends me deeply. I am here receiving a higher education to strengthen my skills in hopes of writing something that will change the world for readers some day. Yet now in the digital age, talent is defined by how many followers you have on Youtube or Instagram. If you have a few million, then you can be a writer as well! You can write anything you want, and people will buy and read it no matter what, without paying attention to plot, character development, or anything else real authors struggle over day and night.

Now my point here is not a hate message, rather a bit of an eye-opener as to where our world is heading. People are having difficult identifying high quality traits in almost anything, and prefer what is easy. Instead of taking a psychologically challenging book, we opt for an easy story about a person’s life which we probably already know too much about if they are famous enough to publish it.

You may think that each person has a right to having their preferences in books, and I don’t have a problem with that at all.

But as much as they have the right to love those books, I have the right to dislike them.

I firmly believe that once an author’s status becomes more valuable than the quality of their work, then literature will surely be doomed.

-Tatevik Kyurkchyan




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