Musing: Why would anyone demand George Saunders write a novel?

There's a link below but I haven't enabled it because I don't think that we should give the people at gawker who published it any more pageviews.

Essentially the writer, Adrien Chen, has written hundreds of words about how George Saunders should write a novel. How George Saunders should want to write a novel. How George Saunders will never be a real writer unless he writes a novel. How Saunders will only ever be a short story writer who's read by other writers and whom no one will care about unless he writes a novel.

What's particular odd is that the writer seems to believe that Saunders is a great writer. (For the record, I think Saunders is a great writer) Of course the writer does later make it clear that he doesn't think much of short fiction, which is what Saunders writes.

Maybe it's because I've had the opportunity to talk with some talented writers and artists over the years–some of them truly brilliant and gifted people–and it would never occur to me to emphatically exclaim: You should write this! You must want to write this!

Maybe it's because of a lack of ego on my part. Maybe it's because I was raised with a semblance of courtesy and politesse. Maybe it's because I'm not a complete asshole.

George Saunders is a genius. He can write what he wants. He doesn't need the approval of a gossip writer or me or anyone. The truth is, if Saunders was obsessed with what everyone thought and was trying to please anyone, he probably wouldn't be able to write something good and he certainly wouldn't be the writer he is today.

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