46,000 novels. Think of it. You'd need a lifetime to read them all.
46,000 novels. And one has been selected for publication.
According to the Economist something like 10,000 novels are published in the UK each year.
Of that 10,000, how many will be remembered?
In a good year- one, two, three? In many years none at all.
And how many classic novels are there altogether? Count up the novels that really matter- the novels that form the Western canon, from Don Quixote to Catcher in the Rye- and I doubt if they number more than 1,000.
The novels that matter are a tiny proportion of the novels that have been published and the novels that have been published are a tiny proportion of the novels that have been written.
It makes me feel sick and giddy.