BBC R4 Archive on 4: Pulped Fiction (on literary reputations)
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BBC R4 Archive on 4: Pulped Fiction
The writer DJ Taylor examines the question of literary reputations and how they rise and fall. Is talent alone enough to ensure survival? Taylor argues that what allows a writer's work to endure is not straightforward merit, but something far more complex: an immensely subtle calibration of talent with the preoccupations of the age that follows. Tone, taste, fashion and luck all play a part. Taylor speaks to the writers Louis de Bernieres, Tracy Chevalier and David Lodge as well as to Professor Dame Hermione Lee, the critic Peter Kemp and to Simon Winder, the Publishing Director of Penguin Press. Along the way he'll discuss writers whose reputation have waxed and waned. He'll ask which writers deserve to be brought back and which ones are on the slide...