Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Prime Passage: The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner

From a letter written June 4, 1979:

"As for the book business, God knows. The Dalton Book kind of merchandizing demeans books and reduces them to merchandise like aluminum siding. But there are occasional bookstores -- there are three in this area, thank God -- that still like books, hire clerks who read and love books, and make every effort to get a customer the book he wants whether the merchandiser's computer says it's popular or not. So maybe there's hope. Tell me the struggle naught availeth, and I'll ask you what alternative to struggle you can think of. The big hard one to get around is why, in literature as in economics those that have, get, and those that have not get not. I could devise a fairer and more equitable system, but nobody has yet called me to the throne and given me the commission."

The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner, edited by Page Stegner, Shoemaker & Hoard 2007

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