In a recent blog post of mine “Books and Literary Snobs”, I began it by saying the following:
Since the emergence of the internet, and with it, online publishing and the plethora of books now available to us, a disturbing breed of individual has emerged – the literary snob. While thanks to small press and self-publishing, it is true that the vast majority of published authors these days far outweigh the fortunate few, chosen by establishment publishing, rarely if ever will any of the former become successful.”
Since writing that post I have become even more aware of another trait normally associated with internet trolls among the literary snobs – sheer arrogance! Without exception they fundamentally believe that what they say should be paid attention too. Further, that we lowly scribes should be grateful to them for tearing the product of all our hard work apart!!!
Sadly there are a number of people who will only ever read books their equally arrogant parents introduced them to. There lies a problem for all Indies. Unless they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, the literary snob will not even glance their way – need I say more? The emerging author of today will be deafened by the loud ‘tut tutting’ being uttered by these narrow minded individuals who are quick to judge.
If they had their way, the only books made available to the general public to read would have been written from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth century, or maybe in certain circumstances until the middle of the twentieth. Certainly none published by anyone other than the establishment publishing houses would be allowed into the public domain in their view.
A little further on in my previous post I added the following:
“Yesterday I read a list of best selling books that were rejected for years, in some cases – decades, before the snobs within the world of establishment publishing took notice of them. The list of titles, too numerous to mention here, astounded me. Perhaps it shouldn’t. After all, like you and I they were not from the right social class.”
One thing all of these pompous literary snobs seem incapable of comprehending is the fact that all writers, be they first timers, or old established hands, if they are at all serious about writing, continue to hone their ‘voice’ until the day they die. Writers like Dickens were panned beyond belief when they were first published; something the pompous literary snob of today conveniently ignores.
I feel exceedingly sorry for these pathetic individuals whose personal library is severely limited to a few volumes written by authors such as Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dickens, H. Rider Haggard, H.G Wells, Jules Verne, Agatha Christy, Graeme Green, or maybe even Arthur Conan Doyle. Unfortunately, they are the kind of people who firmly believe that to read anything new, is somehow beneath them. In a way, they remind me of my father’s Edwardian generation who clung to the dream that England still ruled the waves and had an Empire. Like them, today’s literary snobs are dinosaurs!
While they continue to prevail, be they private individuals posing as reviewers or British literary critics like Will Self,
(according to him he is god’s gift to journalism and literature in general) what chance do today’s emerging writers have of succeeding? Most establishment literary prizes like the ‘Booker’ here in England are almost never won by a newcomer beyond the world of the establishment publishing scene – certainly not an ‘Indie’.
While those of us who live in the real world are prepared to read something new, be it from someone like myself who self-publishes or not, the establishment publishing houses are all sadly missing out on so much promising talent by ignoring today’s plethora of new writers, or worse, dismissing them out of hand simply on the word of fully paid up members of the oldboy network who currently hold sway, or narrow minded literary agents in the pay of the establishment publishing houses.
The literary snob is easy to spot. Just take a look at the reviews for your book(s). He or she is the one who is obsessed with what kind of comma you are employing, etc, etc…