A conversation with Joseph Harris
There does seem to be a dreadful tyranny of taste in fiction nowadays, Mark, and, yes, driven by highly reductive processes. The ‘feeding wants’ principles of marketing run directly counter to the fiction genius of engendering in the reader surprise, wonder, humanity and (trigger warning) a sense of the transcendent. In that sense, the reader doesn’t always precisely know what they ‘want’.
I have enjoyed this series. Glad you're addressing the current state of fiction. It needs to be said. It remines of Maxwell Perkins quotes: “An editor does not add to a book. At best he serves as a handmaiden to an author. Don’t ever get to feeling important about yourself, because an editor at most releases energy. He creates nothing” "A writer’s best work,” he said, “comes entirely from himself.” I read one quote that I cannot find, where he questions: are we (as editors) making the story better or just different?