Marilynne Robinson spoke at the University of Louisville about contemporary writers’ disdain for their readers. “Much of today’s literature, she said, seems to be written on an intellectual level that assumes the reader did not progress beyond childhood. ‘If a grocery store were stocked on the same principle, it would carry only Fruit Loops,’ Robinson said.” (Thanks, Hotel Chelsea.)
George Saunders, whose phenomenal In Persuasion Nation appears next month, discusses political fiction and the syntax of propaganda in an interview at the Columbia Spectator. (Via Bookslut.) You can download a chapbook of Saunders’ previously uncollected nonfiction at his website.
Rare Oscar Wilde documents, including some used against him as evidence in the infamous “indecency” trial, have been donated to Leeds University.
In The Book of Lost Books, Stuart Kelly investigates the great books we’ve lost — including “the second part of Dickens’ ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’,” “the whole second volume of ‘The Brothers Karamazov,’ the entirety of Herman Melville’s proposed collaboration with Nathaniel Hawthorne, titled ‘Agatha,’ and 73 of Aeschylus’ 80 plays.”