Cultural Problems of a Nation. About Books.
A book gives everybody a unique opportunity to explain the present day and life in general, but the more alarming time is, the more superficial is the knowledge we receive...
That's why intellectual novels and tragedies are forgotten, publishers are looking for plain books which are of more fun and where the difficult is expressed in simple words and often not quite right. Pride of place goes to entertaining cookery books, books for children and ultrashort stories. Sure, some stories can fit in one paragraph and not take more than 10 seconds to read. People do not need literary works, like the one written by Klyuchevskii or Tolstoy.
Books, characters, and the complex world, that suddenly became obvious and clear, have come to the foreground. Thank God, and they read it! It does not matter if they do it quickly or slowly, thoughtfully or not, they still read...
Then you suddenly realize that people generally could not buy books at all. Once we were a great literary nation. Now, if you take a dry residue, the best thing we have brought to the world is the classics of the XIX century.
Over the past 30 years, not a single serious work has appeared in Russia. Why so? Perhaps someone with the same qualities as Solzhenitsyn or Turgenev has more different, commercial ways of expression, so he destroys his talent by switching to a more profitable business.
Meanwhile, the annual statistics do not leave a single dry stitch on the readers! The research conducted by Teletext in the UK has shown that residents of Foggy Albion less and less derive their knowledge from books. As respondents note, they buy books, though, often do not read them to the end or even thumb through them quickly. According to recent data, more than a half (55%) have admitted that a book is a decor element that is used to replenish their personal library. This situation is widespread, and Russia is no exception!
Today people can be distinguished not by their preferences in literature but into those who still read books, and those who don't. Education has evolved into an art for the elite. However, knowledge is not a privilege or luxury!
Previously, there were no gadgets or television, but there was a huge grandfather's bookcase and a great love for literature. Publishers didn't experience panic or think: "If only not to complicate things and not to scare the readers!". Then what has changed so much in half a century?
Consciousness... it has changed as well as the time we live in. Ringing silence has come to the overstocked information field, and in a world where every action has to deliver benefit and everything should have a purpose, reading has acquired the status of a pointless exercise.
We have ceased to realize that knowledge is a key advantage. That literature has always played a paramount role in establishing the relationship between intellectual elite and masses shaping the cultural dimension of nations. Over the centuries, the magical world of literature has given harmonious shape to individuals, offering them answers to many important questions and helping to become better than yesterday.
I hope the time when we won't be able to do without books will come back but now there is a reason for people not to know the pangs of independent thinking and not to learn to sympathize. Join the ranks of slaves; after all, it's much easier to control an uneducated and the foolish crowd! Burn and throw away unread books, as they did during the Third Reich with Voltaire, Romain Rolland, and Remark.
Let once again a human thought to burn and the madness has the upper hand. It's better than a victory of human indifference …