Burning Our Seed Corn. Part 1.
In “Amazon has added Kurt Vonnegut to its 'official' fan fiction program”1, Rob Bricken argues the Kindle Words Program's inclusion of Vonnegut's work is an assault on all that is good and virtuous in the world of literature. That it “cannot end well;” that it will inevitably “…tarnish the works of one of America's greatest authors.” Sadly Bricken does not provide the mechanism by which this desecration will occur. Perhaps Amazon will rip out chapters from Slaughter House Five to replace them with fan written work; or they might publish an “undiscovered” Vonnegut manuscript; or they could even dig up Vonnegut's corpse to tar and feather it with pages of fan fiction. All are about equally likely. Which leads to the question: how does the mere existence of tributes to an author's inspirational power damage the text's that already exist? Does Gnomeo and Juliet diminish the elegance of Shakespeare's original? Or does Cruel Intentions profane Les Liaisons dangereuses? Perhaps Phantom Menace's Coruscant reduces Asimov's Trantor? Maybe the difference is that there is “no goddamn way anyone is going to write a story staring Kurt Vonnegut's characters as well as Vonnegut did.” Bricken is right, Vonnegut is a great author; however…Read more