The "prominent" novelist Jane Smiley sounds off with the now familiar theme that the democrats didn't lost the election because they ran a bad candidate, or because they flirted with nut jobs like Michael Moore. Smiley says they lost the election because more than half the country is too stupid and evil to recognize the wisdom and simple goodness of the dems' positions. Here is a sample of a very long screed about how ignorant, violent and basically unredeemable we all are:
The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America. Listen to what the red state citizens say about themselves, the songs they write, and the sermons they flock to. They know who they are—they are full of original sin and they have a taste for violence.
Well, my first thought on reading this sort of thing is to hope that dems will keep up the "you can't understand us because you are too dumb" stuff through the next election (nothing like thinking ahead). My second thought is to wonder what it is that makes this Smiley woman a famous novelist - I have never read her and, frankly, don't know anyone who does.
And in fact it appears that not very many people do read her stuff. I picked a book she won a Putlizer Prize for, "A Thousand Acres" because I figured it sold more than her other books, and looked at Amazon for her sales ranking. Its current sales ranking is 35,775 and its historical sales ranking is 35,694. I guess its no wonder that Smiley thinks we are dumb, she probably thinks her books are pretty swell and we just aren't buying them.
It seems to me that figuring out who your prominent authors are works different than with the other "arts". I mean, you get to be a famous actor when a lot of people pay to see your movies, and you get to be a famous musician when a lot of people buy your albums. You get to be a famous columnist when a lot of newspapers syndicate your columns, and you get to be a famous blogger when you get lots of hits. But apparently you get to be a famous novelist if "the people who matter" decide your book is a good one, even if almost nobody reads it.
When you consider that "the people who matter" in determining whether a book is any good are probably deeply ensconced in the heart of blue America, it probably makes sense that famous novelists are mostly rug chewing, foaming at the mouth leftists like Smiley. (And here is some more evidence of that).