Today’s question was suggested by Barbara:
Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?
Wow. I have no idea where to begin. Honestly, I’m not certain I want to do so either. Hear me out. We’re talking about Dickens, Austen, Bronte and hundreds of others who are still popular. Their writing style – the detailed characters that come to life, the time and patience they show when building the suspense and developing the plot, the plot itself – is just not popular anymore. It takes time and effort to read works by classic authors, sometimes one can read more than 100 pages into these novels before anything good starts happening. Considering last week’s question that discussed if life was too short to read books that didn’t pique your interest within a set number of pages, the two do not mesh. Most people who answered last week’s question regarding life being too short drew the line at fifty pages, which means that these same people would put down Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any other classic author because the novel was not interesting in the first fifty pages. Following that rule, there would be very little classic literature that would be read!
By comparison, from what I’ve seen, today’s authors are more concerned with developing the plot as quickly as possible. Get people interested immediately to keep them reading. It works and is successful but is completely different from how authors used to write. I like both and firmly believe there is room for both in today’s society. But to say that they are of the same caliber is like comparing apples and oranges, in my opinion.
As for whether any current works will continue to be popular 100 years from now, I honestly think there will, but nothing comes immediately to mind. Granted, that in and of itself may be an indication that today’s authors will not be popular in the years to come. Then again, future societies may discover a relatively unpopular author today and tout them as the best of the era. The reading audience is a fickle thing and, in my opinion, very difficult to predict. Who knows what the future will hold for today’s authors?
What do you think? Can you compare today’s authors with classic ones? Which of today’s authors do you think will remain popular in the decades to come?