Sunday, October 29, 2006

Being and Becoming

Here's a quick question before I say more about Buffy's speech, and I arbitrate between her and Daniel as they contend some points of my previous post.

Setup: On the Sycamore Review blog Anna alerts us to Jenny Diski's post over at Guardian Unlimited. Diski's post is all about "writing" as a career choice. I perused it. I'll peruse it later. One sentence caught my attention:

If you are literate (though it's getting to be a much less than universal ability) then, the thought goes, you can write a book.

Forget around the universe -- here on earth, was literacy a more generally assumed quality years ago than it is now? Is it actually "getting to be" less common than it was?

I honestly don't know the statistics. And I know that the definition of literacy has changed. But even if the interest in reading books is waning I'm guessing that it has not as much to do with literacy as it does with the easy pap of celebrity magazines.

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