by Alexander Manshel, Laura B. McGrath, and J. D. Porter published in The Atlantic
Read original on The Atlantic's website
In this data-driven piece of reporting, the author...Show description
Posted 12 days ago
Big fan if this article. As a consistent reader, decently at least, I have definitely noticed books being "written for the screen." That's not to say they are bad, on the contrary most of the time, but they do seem waaay different from those coming from Dostoevsky, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, etc. The entire flow of the novel is different then a lot of what I see today.
As the authors of this article, I also question:
(Aristotle: “Of all plots and actions the episodic are the worst”). If the action governs the characters and setting, and the ending governs the action, what happens when there is no ending?
I am not so negative when thinking about this, as I think film and TV are incredible mediums, but neither are the authors. Although many people might not agree with this, I appreciated their conclusion:
Is contemporary literature being dumbed down by authors, agents, and publishers motivated purely by profit and struck with a severe bout of adaptation envy? The short answer is no. From Charles Dickens’s stage-play adaptations to William Faulkner’s side hustles in Hollywood, novelists have always existed in a multimedia ecosystem that both subsidizes and shapes their work on the page.
I am with them here. It's always our tendency to be afraid of change, to take a conservative view of art and the world and to be afraid that the things we love are going away. I don't think this is true, I think that writer's now, especially The successful ones, are aware of how we think about scenes and fiction these days, and playing into the mindset if a movie or TV show might actually help some readers who are more reluctant to pick up Dostoevsky for example. For me, anything that gets people reading more is worth it, let's not be overly aristocratic about what is "good" or "bad" please.