FICTION IS DEAD?
So says V.S.Naipaul. Somehow I've missed the news. I learn it from a Jug Surya article in TOI. (TOI is these days through content change - from the trivial to the serious).
Naipaul says that readers no longer want to read made-up stories about made-up people. What they want are true stories about the real people involved - suicide bombers, inflammatory mullahs, or the political patrons of terror.
Coming as it does from one of the great writers I admire, I was stupmed at first, but soon it dawns on me that it's an angst triggered by craps that flood the market, thanks to our publishing industry.
In a retrograde way, suicide bombers and their ilk dominate today's world. It's just natural people are interested in them. I don't see any major digression in the readers' shift of interest. As a writer it's our job to depict these creatures in their true colour and shade.
I don't think the fiction is, or will be, dead anyday. But the fiction writer needs a new focus today - specially about things he
was going to write.