t h e s a l o n
(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole article!)
Commercial success in the arts is, of course, no guarantee of worth. Usually it indicates the opposite. Nor can an artist pin his or her hopes on the future. Books fade into obscurity, get lost or never get published in the first place. There is no fixed arbiter for such matters, no Nobel-prize-like divinity to tell us who deserves to be in the pantheon and who doesn't. Take a look at the winners of those Nobel prizes over the years and you'll find as many mediocrities as enduring talents, most of them chosen with a strong eye toward their political bent as much as their literary talent.
Thomas J. Hubschman