Los Angeles Times Book Editor David L. Ulin discusses the future of publishing down the road as the economic meltdown continues.
“There's little doubt that the economy will affect this further, or that, even without the advent of recession, publishing is a business in crisis mode. But I see hard times as having a potential upside -- if we focus on the work itself.”
The upside according to Ulin—if the Great Depression is a guide—is that authors and books take on more serious themes and the fluff and ephemera fall along the wayside. There is an echo of this argument used to explain the growing gap in those intending to vote for Obama—labeling the Obama campaign as one tailored for a time of political seriousness. Authors will not be far behind as the world enters the mood for a serious, adult conversation about life, politics, social arrangements and networks.
During the Great Depression Orwell survived his experience as a member of the colonial police force in Burma and produced three fine literary works: The novel Burmese Days (1934) and the essays "A Hanging" (1931) and "Shooting an Elephant" (1936).