We’re going to start out the new year with an exclusive interview with none other than The Year 2011 herself!
KB: Congratulations on your appointment as The Year 2011 and Happy New Year!
The Year 2011: Happy New Year to you Kenny!
KB: It seems that yours will be an important annum as so many counterbalancing forces are at work. People are mindful of community more than ever, and yet there is also a rise in digital culture and technologies such as ebooks which push against traditional norms of community. Can you give us any insights into how these issues will play out during your term?
The Year 2011: Certainly. Have you considered that Years have been around for quite some time now?
KB: I hadn’t thought of it that way before.
The Year 2011: Yes. Humanity, by imposing intervals in time, gave birth to years, a great gift to us, and The Advisory Council Of Years is mindful of the well being of humanity for that cause. Were you aware that Years vary in opacity?
KB: I wasn’t! What causes some Years to be less clear than others?
The Year 2011: Lack of historical integrity, confusion of the present and the past, a lack of grounding of history in the physical present. As Sidney Alexander has pointed out, until the Renaissance Orpheus was depicted as a medieval bard. The humanist enterprise to see classical Greeks as people living in a certain historical time and place forcefully separated the past and present, rescuing intellectual enterprise from a kind of temporal miasma. It is precisely this miasma, this unadulterated interpenetration of past and present, which makes the formlessness of digitization such a danger. In the face of the dissolving force of these “cloud” based aggregations of data masquerading as books many people will sense their danger, and be mindful of the power of physical connections, of touching a book from childhood and being transported back in time by that touch. Everyone needs those anchors. Some will continue to find them and create them, yet others will drift and be lost.
KB: Wow, thanks for that insight! Are you able to share any book industry news with us.
The Year 2011: Yes, two books which have been long awaited, and canceled repeatedly, will finally see print. They are Patrick Rothfuss’ second Kingkiller book, The Wise Man’s Fear and Jean Auel’s sixth Clan of the Cave Bear book, Land of the Painted cave.
KB: Huzzah! I can’t wait for the new Rothfuss. Now I don’t suppose you can give us a hint regarding the upcoming literary prizes for the year.
The Year 2011: Hmmmn. All right then. First off think for a moment about your Penguin Trade Rep Peter Giannoni.
KB: Peter, eh, I’ve certainly bugged him enough times about the Rothfuss book delays.
The Year 2011: Yes, well, it may interest you to know that Peter is actually a character in the Kingkiller books who has taken refuge in our world.
KB: You don’t say!
The Year 2011: I do say. And if you correctly identify which character he is, and ponder things from there, you will uncover the clue to that which you seek.
KB: Ah ha. Incredible. Thanks so much for taking time with us Year 2011.
The Year 2011: What have I if not time? It was my pleasure!