Because she’d never heard of me, she made the quite reasonable assumption that I was a Dante writer – one so new or obscure that she’d never seen me mentioned in a journal of literary criticism, and never bumped into me at a conference. Therefore, I couldn’t be making any money at it. Therefore, I was most likely teaching somewhere. All perfectly logical. In order to set her straight, I had to let her know that the reason she’d never heard of me was because I was famous.
– Neal Stephenson, describing an encounter with a “literary” writer in a quite wonderful interview over at slashdot. His answer to the question “In a fight between you and William Gibson, who would win?” is so magnificent that it would make me go and buy all his books if I didn’t own them already.