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Fame, I’m Gonna Live Forever April 5, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in education, iPad, sense of wonder, writing.

A possibility occurred to me about ebooks when I heard that iBooks for the iPad will have available all the Gutenberg titles. I just saw this from Lightning Source about posting their stuff to the store, too. Ipad will have some huge number of titles available. And mine, hopefully through Legends.

But the thought that resonated with me is this: forgotten authors will be available universally. Writers who never found their market have a shot again–and again and again. Trends in fiction move like the tides. Some forms are in, others out. Those who are out now might be in come 2015. Or 2030. Or 2050. Unlike print books which get shoved aside to make way for new titles, ebooks can sit there until their time has come. Or their audience finds them. It might not be a DaVinci Code big audience, either. Might only be a few hundred.

My son (among other things) is an English major and has really taken only one course dealing with 20th Century writers. Puritan diaries, not a problem. Lots of classes taught there. But 20th Century writers? Pretty much off limits after 1950 or so. He is currently taking a Pynchon/Delillo course, which is certainly more interesting than, say, Increase Mather, but it is one of the few offered dealing with writers of the last 60 yrs.

Get the books iPad available and maybe some of the “obscure” writers might shine.

The big problem will be the urge toward PCness and bowdlerizing writers in the name of civility. I can imagine the Fu Manchu books being hacked to pieces but maybe ebooks will allow the originals to survive. It’s not many series where the protagonist is the bad guy, after all.

Let’s hear it for discovering “minor” writers of bygone eras…like the last half of the 20th Century.



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