One American author whose name will go unmentioned, not because of my higher ethics but because I’ve never heard of her, has got the ironic balls to declare that a large number of award-winning authors are masters of what she calls, with no apparent self-consciousness, ‘suckitude’. She’s talking about literature, mind you, something that I doubt her tidy little plots could even pretend to. Okay, she’s been published, so one up on many others, but that’s what defines ‘hackitude’, right? It’s like the old saying “shit happens”; “shit gets published”. She even pretends on her web site (surprise, surprise) to advise other writers on the dangers of literary agents while steadily plugging her own agent and her own contrived stories of international intrigue. It’s a sad day when authors denigrate the best of their lot to exalt the most mundane, as if Shakespeare were really all about the lives and actions of a lot of distinct individuals in specific situations. Shakespeare was all about immortal individuals in universal situations. Modern literature has a chance to do one better by liberating the situations from the characters, in short: stories about nothing, writing about everything, literature without stories.