Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Loveliest Rose in the World

Okay, again it's Andersen, but this time more in your face: The Loveliest Rose in the World.

So, would this story make it today? In some areas, perhaps. What's the problem? Well, it must be with readers, writers, or editors/publishers (or some combination thereof).

Is it readers? To the extent that they aren't reading this sort of thing, yes, and that we can blame on parents and teachers (in that order) who aren't doing their job. But there are readers--plenty of them, I think--who would read this.

Writers? Most of them are in roughly the same boat as the readers, though they usually read more. (Unfortunately, it's usually modern dreck.)

So that leaves editors and publishers. Why do they tend to avoid stuff like this? Let's be blunt: it's generally moral cowardice bolstered with ignorance. They say it won't sell because it's old-fashioned. So's Jane Austin, and she's done pretty well over the last decade. Too preachy? What about the "Left Behind" series? The Christian Booksellers Association is more likely to go for something like this, but its members ultimately worship the bottom line too much to risk even something that isn't that risky. A lot of new "independent" Christian publishers seem to be stuck in stealth mode: they don't want to antagonize non-Christians (who watch a lot of Christian TV and listen to a lot of Christian radio and music anyway), so they are effectively Christian in name only.

So what's the answer? I think it's up to the writers to fulfill their calling regardless of what others do. God will find an audience for his message. You say you don't have a message? Then please-please-please shut up. I'll back that up tomorrow.

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