I missed Andrew Wylie’s interview with New Republic when it came out last week. I’ve just read it now, and have come away with two strong impressions: that he is profoundly anti-Amazon these days (for reasons, rather spectacularly, of style as much as business); and that he is incredibly optimistic about the future of publishing:
LB: Do you feel as hostile toward Amazon as you used to?
AW: I think that Napoleon was a terrific guy before he started crossing national borders. Over the course of time, his temperament changed, and his behavior was insensitive to the nations he occupied.
Through greed?which it sees differently, as technological development and efficiency for the customer and low price, all that?[Amazon] has walked itself into the position of thinking that it can thrive without the assistance of anyone else. That is megalomania.
Read the whole thing. You won’t agree with all of it, or perhaps even most of it. But if you believe in book publishing and its importance, you’ll applaud the energy, ambition and refusal to be anything other than true to your own beliefs.