Samuel R. Delany: The Grammar of Narrative

March 29, 2010

Professor Samuel R. Delany talks to Locus; the magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field, about the comforts of capitalism, High Modernism and the future of fiction.

Samuel Delany, English professor and Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Temple University, is featured in March edition of Locus.

“When I talk to people with MFAs who are now working as editors for literary publishers, they say, ‘What we learned in college is a kind of writing that our current bosses do not want to let in the door.’ They want nothing to do with ‘good writing.’ These are places like Random House; Harcourt Brace; Knopf; and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, who are the epitomes of literary publishing in this country, yet they’re willing to say, ‘I’m sorry. That’s not what we’re interested in anymore. We have a couple of slots a year for novels like that.’

“This is not a healthy situation for writing in general. It’s not healthy for science fiction, not healthy for anyone. I think we have five publishers left in New York, and 25 years ago there were 79! So when we’re talking about ‘commercial’ versus ‘art’ publishing, we’re using a leftover vocabulary. We’re still looking at the world through 1955-colored glasses.”

For more excerpts from the article visit Locust Online

-Jazmyn Burton


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