In the article “Ebooks are changing the way we read, and the way novelists write”, Mason writes that the attention span has shortened and people are now reading on devices such as mobile phones and kindles, and “dipping into them in the coffee queue or on public transport”. In my opinion, this is not something that has been caused solely by ebooks as all of technology has had a part to play in this. In the past before technology, reading was a way of escapism for people whereas now escapism can be achieved through many things, like watching television and playing games. To me, it does not seem necessarily bad that people choose to read small segments while doing things like using public transport because it means that people still value reading and the novel as a source of entertainment. It means that the novel is not actually dead.
Liesl Schillinger’s response to “Why do we always Proclaim that the Novel Is Dead” raises many good points. For example, she talks about the fact that the people who proclaim that the novel is dead are people like her professor, who want to be the deciders of what is “good” literature. To say that the novel is dead when there are “richly realised fictional worlds that rise all around them” seems to me to mean that the literary novel is dying, not the idea of novels overall. The way that people like her professor and Will Self proclaim this idea makes me think that only their idea of what real literature is appear to be dying. Things such as literary novels however, are sometimes not actually thought as such at the time they are written. There could be things out there right now that in the future will come to be literary novels, they just may not be recognised as such right now. To continue to discredit all of current literature can only discourage writers and could even move along the process of the death of the novel.
What are everyone else’s views on this?