Is the “new” Harper Lee “sequel” to To Kill a Mockingbird a chilling metaphor for the book industry, wherein a publisher is presented with a manuscript that’s a surprise extension of a beloved cultural franchise, a predestined goldmine, written by an author years ago but conveniently “discovered” at a time when the author, though still living, seems to lack all authority with which to speak about the book, except via legally designated intermediaries, and who seems unable or unwilling to edit the book, and wherein said publisher readily admits it also won’t edit said book, but merely package it for sale, so that one’s ultimate impression is that it no longer even matters what the book itself ultimately says only that it exists to be purchased?
Isn’t Go Set a Watchman in a way the Perfect Book? (A blockbuster with blank pages.)
And doesn’t this weird willful marshalling of coincidental forces represent some kind of apotheosis of book publication culture as it’s been known in the postwar U.S. of A.?
No, you’re right, you’re right. Probably not.