Mik Awake questions the 21st century hustle known as the literary reading:
In its producer-consumer format, in its faux-democratic approach to literary discussion, in which readers are encouraged to disagree only on which passage of a book was their favorite (Merde!), the literary reading is a perfect example of market culture’s damaging influence (Merde!) on our experience of art and perhaps, for many former or current students, an all-too-familiar echo of the teacher-student format (Merde! Merde! Merde!). In a situation where the Author equals producer, and reader equals consumer, disfavor can be seen as costly. But, without drunk French prodigies yelling out swear words, how do most people gauge public disfavor at a literary reading? The answer: silence.