“The world has no pity on a man who can’t do or produce something it thinks worth money. You may be a divine poet, and if some good fellow doesn’t take pity on you you will starve to death by the roadside.”
“…the libraries are indispensable. Do you suppose the public would support the present number of novelists if each book had to be purchased? A sudden change to the system would throw three-fourths of the novelists out of work.” – New Grub Street
I’m reading ‘New Grub Street’ by George Gissing at the minute and would definitely recommend it, particularly to anyone interested in writing. Although it focuses on the world of novelists and journalists in the 1880s, things haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think!
The chronically pessimistic novelist Edward Reardon (see first quote), up-and-coming young journalist Jasper Milvain and embittered literary man Alfred Yule are just some of the colourful characters within and one can’t help but wonder just what would they make of today’s literary/journalistic scene, where writers abound, libraries are free and novelists rely on book sales…
(Just came across this article on the Guardian…)