Turning back to Bruce Sterling post I want to share my thought for the points it explains. The first challenge mentioned is the most interesting:
Literature is language-based and national; contemporary society is globalizing and polyglot.
Word! When I started to read in the original books in English source language I realized that the difference between author’s text and translation matters at any rate or even can be of critical significance.
No, it is not a snobbish thing - you see, often translator is more talented than the one being translated and some books that were among my favourites in Russian I believe to be rather dull in English. But the trick is that even the positive difference can’t be totally ignored and that’s the reason to consider it a problem.
And the real problem is that – as to me - I do not know any foreign language enough to read books except English a bit (skill posessed nowadays by many). And a really huge amount of literature is stuck in its own language and culture and can be known through translations only – and as I revealed for myself translated book may be even better but it will not be the same book.
To understand what it really matters for literature just imagine that you are unable to get any records by your favourite group and you can listen only to the cover versions. And for the literature it is a great everyday problem, with a handicap for the authors lucky enough to have English or Spanish or other popular language as their native one.
And here we do face a challenge that is brand new and did not existed before because not so long ago there were few connections with other cultures. So, there was a possibility to be fully satisfied with the products of your own culture because they explained everything that you would ever have a chance to see in your life. Now they can’t.
And some points that I disagree on:
Vernacular means of everyday communication — cellphones, social networks, streaming video — are moving into areas where printed text cannot follow.
Not a challenge. All this stuff can be described easily with text as railways and airplanes before. Literature is a way to describe, not a thing that needs describing. Text remains text, is it embossed or printed or displayed, you name it.
Intellectual property systems failing.
The time humanity lived without intellectual property laws is much longer than the time we have them, and literature still exists. An even if it is really a challenge, it is not a challenge for literature only but for all intellectual products.
Barriers to publication entry have crashed, enabling huge torrent of subliterary and/or nonliterary textual expression.
Same as above, how did literature manage to survive Gutenberg? Also, these challenges are connected because ‘barrier crushing’ shows that the lacking of old property system is not an obstacle for new narratives to come. They are green but I think it is a question of time for them to ripe. And I am almost sure there will be a phenomenon of freeware classic-formed literature, I mean books written as free of charge primordially.
I will proceed later with other source article points but your opinion on the listed above will be appreciated.