Essay: Fiddling while home burns
A February 2015 essay on medium.com
"After all, what novelists have been doing ever since Quixote is creating a world of their own making — a planet whose complexity has come to rival the real thing, but one that is inhabited by novels rather than species. Each novel has its own niche; some are narrowly endemic to a particular salt marsh of style or genre, while others range across continents. All of them are linked to the others by threads of behavior, environment, and phylogeny, and on this tangled bank novels can devour each other, reproduce to create new forms, hibernate, grow old, and fall asleep in the sun. The only thing they cannot seem to do, as they proliferate from paper books to audiobooks to Google books, is go extinct. Thus while the long-term survival of The Goldfinch is assured, the same cannot be said for the Yangtze river dolphin...."
Read the article here.