Last month, while in Boston for the PEN New England/Hemingway literary awards, I had some time to kill, so I wandered through a farmers market near my hotel. Along my way, I passed a butcher shop with the following sign:
ORDER YOUR FRESH KILLED GOAT WHOLE OR HALF
T. S. Eliot himself could not have invented a better objective correlative for how many of us who write prose feel about the literary marketplace these days. We are the goats lining up to be slaughtered by a world that seems to have moved on to Netflix and Facebook to fulfill that most basic of human needs: to hear a story.