I hereby propose a variant of Godwin’s law, wherein if you start out an argument about how a certain art form you cherish is dying by comparing its (obvious, inevitable) decline to how technology killed the music industry, you immediately lose. (Also: musicians are doing just fine and are coping well with technology.)
Seriously, all future “novel is dying” hacks take note. Here is your Rosetta Stone. This piece by Will Self has everything: the opening anecdote about the music biz; the old-manish elegy for the bygone time (in this case the ’80s) when the novel was “the prince of art forms”; the inevitable hedging about how people still read, just not like they used to; the random pronouncements (sans statistics, obviously) about how less print books are sold and digital is inexorably rising; a few random quotes from Marshall McLuhan; some vague complaints about institutionalized creative writing education; there’s even a “metaphoric ouroboros,” which Self most graciously asks that you forgive (how kind).
Wow, it’s hard to believe someone had the attention span to write this whole thing, much less read it.