The conclusion of Michael Chabon’s essay “Let Me Entertain You”, published today in the L. A. Times:

…[E]ntertainment — as I define it, pleasure and all — remains the only sure means we have of bridging, or at least of feeling as if we have bridged, the gulf of consciousness that separates each of us from everybody else. The best response to those who would cheapen and exploit it is not to disparage or repudiate but to reclaim entertainment as a job fit for artists and for audiences, a two-way exchange of attention, experience and the universal hunger for connection.

I love the image of artists of all kinds — all the different makers of stories — “bridging the gulf of consciousness” among all of us. And I love how the word “entertainer” can encompass all media, so we’re not separating adult lit from YA lit from graphic novels from video games from television, but acknowledging that they all have the capacity to create works of quality that will bridge that gulf.

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One Response to Entertainment

  1. jfpbookworm says:

    A really interesting read, especially in the light of Chabon recently winning the Nebula for The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, a book that as far as I’m aware is not regularly categorized or marketed as SF. (I think the genre/literature distinction overlaps the entertainment/serious distinction to a significant degree.)

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