Jennifer Egan on Novelty

Originally in BOMB, via Thought Catalog; a hugely critically-acclaimed author weighing in the state of contemporary literary fiction:

…I was a National Book Award judge last year, and I read some great stuff. But I also found myself thinking that a lot of novels feel really constrained and unaware of the possibilities at hand. I find that curious, because the novel began as this explosion of craziness. I mean, look at Cervantes and Sterne. Two of the first novelists. There’s nothing holding them back. They haven’t learned to be afraid to do anything.

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