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June 03, 2008

Posterity

L.E. Modesitt Jr. considers the posterity of todays SF&F writers: Will any of them outlive J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe or Mary Shelley? Sales and popularity are poor indicators of potential influence.

Because critics seldom seem to consider history, although they've doubtless read about it, readers tend to forget little things like the fact that Shakespeare was NOT the pre-eminent playwright of his time, and that Beaumont and Fletcher ended up interred in Westminster Abbey long before the Bard did. Rudyard Kipling won the Nobel Prize for literature, but few today read anything of what he wrote anymore, except for The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, and a handful of poems.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 3, 2008 06:21 AM