Here’s a handmade response to Alberto Manguel’s chapter “The Author as Reader” in A History of Reading. In this chapter, Manguel recounts a brief history of authors as public performers of their own work, from Pliny the Younger to modern literary festival readings.
At the close of this chapter, he writes:
“At the best of the literary festivals, at the most successful public readings, writers are both preserved and propogated. Preserved because they are made to feel (as Pliny confessed) that they have an audience that attaches importance to their work; preserved, in the crudest sense, because they get paid (as Pliny wasn’t) for their labors; and propogated because writers breed readers, who in turn breed writers” (258-259).