The modern novel is falling to pieces! Ted Gioia looks at the rise of the fragmented novel in modern mainstream literary fiction. He includes a reading list of 57 ‘fragmented’ novels, with essays on each book in the list.
The modern assumption that writers and artists are dreamy, impractical people is both odd and quite insulting to creative people. Sophocles was a general, Goethe a scientist and statesman. Shakespeare was the most successful entertainment entrepreneur of Renaissance England. I had no particular interest in business, but I had to make a living, and I realized that I had a talent for managing enterprises such as literary magazines and films series. So I took the plunge and went to business school. I found the business world very demanding but also a good place for hard-working and talented people—better, I think, than the university.
I let absolutely no one at General Foods know that I was a poet. I kept my two lives entirely separate. It wasn’t until years later when Esquire featured me in a special issue of “Men and Women Under Forty Who Are Changing America” that my secret life was revealed to my colleagues. I didn’t enjoy the sudden celebrity. It only complicated my life. Never underestimate the advantages of anonymity.
Dana’s brother Ted Gioia:
If you asked me to sum up my view of music in one sentence, I could do it: music is a change agent and a source of enchantment. When people start understanding the arts in those terms, you don’t need to sell them on culture. They come out of curiosity, desire, and self-interest. Teachers can help spur this process, but it’s a different kind of teaching than you find in most classrooms