Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Should Authors Remain Obscure?

Stephen Glover wrote an interesting piece in the The Independent yesterday, contrasting JD Salinger and Martin Amis. His point was that sometimes obscurity helps a writer. Salinger hid himself away, whilst Amis of course is massively over-exposed.

He may well have a point. I like Amis, as it happens (the early stuff anyway, just like everyone else). But I'm bored with his new book already, and it isn't even out yet. I'm probably less likely to buy it than I would be if it didn't have all the hype.

I think authors have a difficult balance to stike here. We're all terrified of under-exposure, ecsue there is such pressure to hit sales targerts, that we don't worry enough about the dangers of over-exposure.

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