Literature versus epiphenomena

The first essay in Dubravka Ugresic’s Thank You For Not Reading reportedly:

relates her attendance about 10 years ago at the London book fair, the year it was opened by Joan Collins. Collins appeared, “dressed like a quotation: in a little pink Chanel suit, with a pink pillbox hat on her head and a coquettish veil over her eyes … What does all this have to do with literature?”

This was when she began to realise that literary life had become swamped by its epiphenomena, that books’ blurbs and author photographs had become more important than their content, that the industry was overrun by middlemen and women whom writers had to pay for, that bookstores resembled supermarkets whose fruit and vegetables had mutated and lost their flavour in favour of external appearance.

(Via Arts Journal.)