Given your obvious literary sophistication, you will agree with me that a Pirandelloish or Gide-like debate between Anthor and Characters were as regressive, at least quaint, at this hour of the world, as naive literary realism: a Middle-Modernist affectation, as dated now as Bauhaus design.
Finally, my thanks for your expression of goodwill and loyalty to our medium. To be a novelist in 1969 is, I agree, a bit like being in the passenger-railway business in the age of the jumbo jet: our dilapidated rolling stock creaks over the weed-grown roght-of ways, carrying four winos, six Viet Nam draftees, three black welfare families, two nuns, and one incorrigible railroad buff, ever less conviniently, between the crumbling Art Deco cathedrals where once pauses the gleaming Twentieth Century Limited. Like that railroad buff, we deplore the shallow "attractions" of the media that have supplanted us, even while we endeavor, necessarily and to our cost, to accomodate to that ruinous competition by reducing even further our own amenities; fewer runs, fewer stops, fewer passengers, higher fares. Yet we grind on, tears and cinders in our eyes, hoping against hope that history will turn our way again.