As I filed through papers twice, sometimes thrice, weekly, I noticed that the number of fiction submissions, for the most part, dwarfed the poetry submissions. Not having any standard of comparison, I figured this was pretty much normal and, for the first few weeks, went about my paper clipping, labeling, and enveloping duties without much regard for the inconsistency. It was not until a few weeks in, however, that Professor Smith corroborated what I had not long since pushed in the back of my mind, that volume of fiction submissions, more than ever before, is beginning to surpass that of poetry. As a part of a generation that, I perceive, is not especially fond of poetry unless it is set to music, this is not an especial shock to me, but I must note, however, that such a shift does have greater implications for the character of a generation, particularly with respect to the literature it might be expected to churn out. While the literary complexion of our generation of authors is yet undiscovered, I think, with the aforementioned fiction-poetry discrepancy in mind, that we will see a few things. That fiction greatly outnumbers poetry is, I think, an effect of the proverbial helicopter parent. We have all grown up believing that we have a story to tell, and while that is not necessarily untrue, we’ve grown up believing that it is the only story worth being told. So, by my estimations, not only will fiction continue to outpace poetry, but fiction will continue to take a nonfiction bent, with the lead character based almost exclusively on the author’s image of him- or herself, or the image of the person whom the author would like to be or to avoid becoming. Research for stories will take the form, more and more, of simple introspection. This, to me, is the great irony of literature born of the Information Age.
- Shenandoah has been has featured on the list of 100 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers published on MastersinEnglish.org.
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