Since we are a generation very influenced by Cinema, many of us have seen The Films and we now implore you to, pick a favorite, and read the book. East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, to name a few. John Steinbeck's best works come from reality, the people he met, the jobs he endured, the folks he interviewed, the wars he witnessed, the losses he experienced and above all, the empathy he owned. Quoting from his speech of 1962, "I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature." The first of several declarations that were meant to knock you, the reader, on your ass. By this time, he is a championship fighter, with about two dozen works of importance under his belt. And ,only four more years of life on this planet. But don't despair dear readers, no one need mourn the death of John Steinbeck. Men such as he, do not die, they do not wither, they do not drift aimlessly across the plains of this great nation, they do not sit like so many monuments across the deserts of this beautiful planet, nor do they flash and blink and rust and corrode, like some long lost forgotten neon sign on a lonely stretch of highway, like just so much dust, in the wind, scattered here and there. Men such as he, are noble, they transcend the critics, they overshadow the cowards, they eclipse the fakes and they inspire the weak, the broken, the battered, the downtrodden and the forgotten. As he stated so concisely, over sixty years ago, "I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession and in the great and good men who have practiced it through the ages." I could not have said it better. That is why, on this day, we honor and celebrate, the greatness that is, was and will always be : John Steinbeck.
Nathan Walsh is doing something quite different, at a magnitude and an altitude of dizzying heights. That all said, the works are mature, whilst still being fun. They are pleasing without losing anything to complexity. They are light sensitive, while still achieving refracted objects in detail. And all the while, they are somehow mathematic, without lacking the very soul contained within all truly great art. The entire body of work contains a strange balance between the sober documentation of an actual reality and an impressionistic and stylized view of a world interpreted by a rather scientific minded work-a-day, no nonsense technician. These days, in the so-called, 'Modern Art World,' becoming a house hold name, often registers automatically, due to a happenstance moment in time or place. A sex tape is revealed, an actor turns artist, a war between two parties creates a stir, an artist pushes a political or allegoric analogy, or the big end all, an artist dies, at the hands of themselves or someone else. The media or the name gallery, or the collector, rushes in and, 'Boom,' fame is bestowed upon and forever tied to the art, the artist and the story therein. Nathan Walsh is going about his business in a manner, a style, a breadth, and a fidelity to excellence, based on his own vision and expectation, that, whether any of the usual art world accidents ever do, or do not occur, he is assured a future. And we here, are proud to have him, in the present, front and center, our Guest Artist for this, our Newest Edition.
So I think the total number of people reading novels will shrink further. Compared to when I started it seems an easier game to get into, but harder for younger writers to make money from. If you get an older and more conservative crowd reading books, they will just want the same crap again and again. The bourgeoisie look down on the proles going into the multiplex to watch the latest Marvel Superhero remake, while attending their fifth production of “The Cherry Orchard” that year.However, I think some people will always want to read novels and continue to see them as one of the main places where story-telling ideas originate. My agents in Hollywood are always on the phone asking me about books to option. The writer has the luxury of producing something both definitive and innovative in a way that’s more difficult with cinema and TV, as you have to be more aware of an audience. It offers the reader the great freedom to make your own movie/TV show of the book in your head, and, of course, that one is always going to be better than any filmmaker’s adaptation, no matter how good.