Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sheer volume

Well, I don't know what of our culture is going to survive, or if we survive. If you look at the Greek plays, they're really good. And there's just a handful of them. Well, how good would they be if there were 2,500 of them? But that's the future looking back at us. Anything you can think of, there's going to be millions of them. Just the sheer number of things will devalue them. I don't care whether it's art, literature, poetry or drama, whatever. The sheer volume of it will wash it out. I mean, if you had thousands of Greek plays to read, would they be that good? I don't think so.
—from a long interview with Cormac McCarthy in the WSJ


Blogger Helen DeWitt said...

I think if we had the hundred lost plays of Sophocles they probably would be as good as the ones that survive. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were prolific but generally of a very high standard; hard to see why the same should not have been true of a great writer.

6:52 PM  

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