That is, until I opined that Versa's first-person confessional novel was obviously a pack of lies. This is the current fad, "truth." I lectured Leon, "It's too easy, this writing. Leon, I'm warning you, break your addiction to this loathsome shit now before it's too late. This fake literature will destroy publishing and sooner or later destroy you. And me."
Leon's eyelids drooped with anger. I was spoiling his party. He was making money and I wasn't big enough to congratulate him. I read his mind: By not accepting money as the final arbiter of worth, I was implying that there is some other yardstick by which to measure literature. And to defend that "other" yardstick is to defend what? "Good writing"? Come on," Leon would argue, "what's that?"