Letter: Books for the story-starved masses

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article ("Modern literary culture has lost the plot", 18 July) was itself, like the sentiments it quoted, "like rain after a drought".

To find that so many struggle with books which I find no compulsion to even open is reassuring, but only partially. To feel personally at odds with contemporary literary taste was one thing; to find that even those who read the "in" authors feel the same is actually quite tragic. It seems that literature is going the way that classical music went at the turn of this century - the popular becoming disparaged and retreating into the world of movies in order to be heard. It is a pity that these other popular art forms which deserve to be given credit on their own merits should be subordinated to another and called "soundtracks" and "adapted screenplays".

Do you think, in the light of Philip Pullman's support of strong stories, that in the interest of we story-starved masses, my local library might be persuaded to remove the sign outside the children's department which only allows adults to borrow these books "on behalf of a child"? Perhaps they already know that the children would otherwise never get the chance to read the books themselves.

MOIRA LANGSTON

London W6

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