On the Decline of Literature in the 21st Century

Jack was just a little bit angry. Just a bit. Not raging mad, mind you. I didn’t say that. No, just a bit miffed. In fact, if you hadn’t been looking straight at him, you might have missed the fleeting frown that crossed his face for but an instant. So, in summary, he was just a teeny tiny bit angry. Just an itsy itsy bit.

Is this necessary? Must the writer try to convey every minute detail of an emotional episode, no matter how trivial? Are there not better things with which the writer could occupy his time, such as stamp collecting? Or, if that is unappealing, perhaps bicycle riding or learning to add long columns of numbers in one’s head would better suit.

The car screeched to a halt in front of the house. Two men leaped out, followed by two more men, three women, fourteen gerbils and a hamster. Phoebe drew the shades quickly and hoped that they were not planning to call upon her. As would anyone placed in a similar situation. Except for theatrical agents, of course.

Aliens. It wasn’t so long ago that every work of fiction had to have aliens in it. As in interplanetary type aliens, not your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Stories never used to have aliens. The other day I was reading a collection of stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald; not a single alien in the whole lot.

Some unscrupulous publishers actually revised the texts of literary classics to put aliens in them. This practice was known as “alienation”.

It’s not aliens anymore, though. They’re so 20th century. Now it’s zombies. It’s the fault of all those zombie movies and tv shows. You’d be hard pressed to find a new story or novel that doesn’t have any zombies in it.

It’s the publishers; they insist on it. I can see their point of view, I guess. They want to make money, and zombies is what sells books.

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was caused by Zombies in the Yard -
Plotting out our Doom.

Copyright © by John Remmers.