Tradpub is dying, but a mortally wounded beast’s death throes can be dangerous, as best selling author Lionel Shriver (pictured) discovered to her sorrow.
James Delingpole reports:
Publishing giant Penguin Random House has announced that its authors are no longer to be chosen on literary merit but according to a politically correct quota system “taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability”.
This is mad, stupid, and insulting. But not nearly as mad, stupid, and insulting as the decision by the Mslexia Short Story Prize, a literary competition for women authors, to sack one of its judges Lionel Shriver as a punishment for daring to criticise the new policy.
What did Shriver say to get the award admins’ panties in a bunch (which, judging by the name Mslexia Prize, is probably no more difficult than coaxing a blue-haired land whale into having a third serving of ice cream-topped skillet cookie)?
I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The email cites the publisher’s ‘new company-wide goal’: for ‘both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.’ (Gotta love that shouty boldface.) ‘This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’ The email proudly proclaims that the company has removed ‘the need for a university degree from nearly all our jobs’ — which, if my manuscript were being copy-edited and proof-read by folks whose university-educated predecessors already exhibited horrifyingly weak grammar and punctuation, I would find alarming.
Preach it, sister!
Drunk on virtue, Penguin Random House no longer regards the company’s raison d’être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books. Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus from now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes. We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscript is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed-paper recycling. Good luck with that business model. Publishers may eschew standards, but readers will still have some.
Attention, Penguin House:
The Independent dredged up a queer #fakebrit to rebut Shriver’s scathing affirmation of reality.
How we are taught to judge “good work” is inextricably rooted in the structures of social and racial privilege. Unconscious biases sit at the heart of invisible prejudices, and when we have been fed on a culture defined by the privileged, it leads to a cultural taste of works from the privileged – and so the vicious cycle perpetuates.
Shriver seems to believe that there is some sort of abstract ideal of good-quality writing, but this is a complete and utter fallacy dripping with privilege. This “ideal” no doubt upholds writing that has benefited from a high-quality education, and with this comes the perils of class and racial privilege.
Frankly, I’m not sure there can be any reasoned objection to that internally consistent and eminently convincing argument. Nonetheless, I shall endeavor to present a logically sound and valid syllogism in an attempt to refute the esteemed Cambridge graduate’s claims.
Nah. Think I’ll just post his picture.
Behold the new face of legacy publishing! Look on Random Penguins’ works, ye mighty, but stock up on eye bleach.
Right now, many of you are no doubt saying, “Traditional publishers are delusional if they think signing authors based on intersectionalist check boxes is a sound business plan. They’ll lose their (rainbow-striped) shirts within a month!”
To you I say, yes. Tradpub is already losing billions as newpub and Amazon eat into their reader base. Now the Big Five publishers are doing the same song and dance as the SJWs in gaming and Hollywood. Penguin’s new author selection criteria are their way of signaling that normal people are no longer welcome as employees, authors, or readers.
SJWs converge organizations after the smart players have already moved on. They wear the once-respected institution’s flayed hide as a skinsuit to peddle spiritual poison to the public. Don’t boycott converged businesses in the false hope that they’ll change their ways. Satan will gladly lose a billion dollars to damn one soul. Instead, stop giving money to people who hate you so you won’t be complicit in their diabolical schemes.
Luckily, indie lets dissenters from the SJW death cult easily bring objectively good stories to tradpub’s alienated audience of normal people. Get my award-winning Soul Cycle adventure series on sale now!
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