CB: Well I don’t think he’s right. I think that young writers who are distinctive are still being noticed and recognized. I won’t say anything against Phillip — he has his reasons for saying what he said. And clearly publishing now is not what it was. There seems to be fewer…there may be fewer people buying books and reading them.
I don’t know. I’m not a sociologist. But it seems to me that young writers are still coming along, and people are still making a fuss about them. I just can’t see that it’s all arbitrary. Lopate may be pointing toward something else, which is that if you’re not Philip Roth, if you’re not amazingly famous, it may be harder for writers to keep being published, to go on being published if their last few books have lost numbers. I don’t know if that’s his argument. So I guess I’d better not say anything more about this.
SL: Well I think we can bring this around to a couple final questions, which are probably going to be the most vague and abstract. I’m wondering, if you had to give advice to young struggling writers in its most condensed form, what would that be?