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Friday, August 24, 2007 9:23 am
At Least We’ll Always Be Able to Read about Smoking
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Telegraph, A. N. Wilson (Betjeman, 2006) wonders whether the end of smoking means the end of literature (“Is this the end of English literature?“):

This attack on basic liberty, which was allowed through without any significant protest, might mark the end not merely of smoking, but of literature.

Heroic Beryl Bainbridge keeps on smoking for England, but will there be any more writers in the years to come, following in her heroic steps?

Frankly, I think we’re all better off without emphysema and lung cancer, though I always enjoy a contrarian’s view. And nonsmokers are writing some terrific novels. What concerns me most about Wilson’s piece is his depiction of dying pub life. We’ve already lost the corner tavern in Chicago — mustĀ England loseĀ its pubs, too?

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