Franzen is wrong
I am all for taking shots at Amazon and its popular Kindle, because the company is showing the unmistakable ticks of the power-mad monopoly, but Franzen was talking nonsense and was being a mite precious to boot…
If Dickens were alive today, guess who’d be blogging, offering the occasional tweet, setting up literary websites, digging out some of his old work and repackaging it in ebooks. Dickens loathed many of his publishers, whom he regarded as lazy, thieving parasites, and he would have been thrilled by the opportunities we have of unmediated connection between writer and reader.
Franzen’s spray was based on the value of the fixed nature of the printed object – implying that any kindle owner could brazenly alter the content of their purchased ebooks with zero effort. Like, how? Ironic that he was the author that had thousand of fixed objects pulped by his publisher, when they were found to be ‘wrong’ :-)