|Photo By: Nonqaba waka Msimang.|
Publishers have never sent out a press release why they came up with that idea, absent in classics like A Suitable Boy, War and Peace and the Zulu novel Mntanami Mntanami.Readers can only assume that publishers regard them as imbeciles that cannot detect why particular words in a novel are more important than others. Therefore, publishers can be triangular dictators. They are the author, publisher and reader.
Words on a page stand for emotions, intentions, places, moving vehicles, traditions of a country and other building blocks that make up fiction. Publishers’ italics rob readers of walking leisurely along the beach or driving on a highway without traffic lights and stop signs. Italics force readers to see the story through publishers’ eyes. Look this way and not that way.It defeats the whole purpose of reading: sympathizing with certain characters, labelling others as villains, wishing for another ending besides the publisher-approved they lived happily ever after.
Italics are proof that authors do not write fiction. Publishers do because they are the salesmen. Wonderful idea for a novel but will it sell? Publishers then steer authors towards a genre, which means that all books that deal with a particular theme should look and read the same way.Readers know how the book will pan out because of genres. Authors might not like it but publishers know best, including putting italics to dictate what readers see and feel.
It makes readers imbeciles.
By: Nonqaba waka Msimang.