An (American) friend shared a link to a New York magazine article on which literary scene is more stuck up – the British or the American. In reality, the article was referring to London and New York, both of which consider themselves the default setting for their respective litcentric selves.
There are a couple of choice remarks here, one New York editor (Jonathan Burnham) claiming that London is ‘more openly alcoholic.’ Granted, many of us enjoy a drink now and then but the majority of British writers I know only wish they could glug quantities of wine over long, louche lunches. In fact, the power breakfast/tea has replaced the literary lunch in London in these cash-strapped publishing times.
US uber agent Nicole Aragi disparages England’s culture as ‘trashy.’ So that’s one in the eye for the wealth of fine writers who have emerged from the land of Shakespeare, few of whom probably subscribe to The Sun or the Daily Sport or whichever red-top Ms Aragi has evidently been reading. Such sweeping statements are always dangerous and never more so where writers are involved.
The pen is indeed mightier than the sword and I would urge writers everywhere to examine the comments made and post your own responses. Sadly, one British writer – yes, I am referring to you, Nick Hornby – has already let the side down by seemingly siding with Aragi. Lionel Shriver, an American who has chosen to live in Britain, also wades in.
If you’d like to add to the debate you can find it here: