In our recent discussion of Cormac McCarthy, Bosque Boys reader(s) "Bob and Merrill" expressed reservations about calling No Country for Old Men "literature."

I have not read McCarthy--but I can tell you that Shelby Foote was a big fan. Of course, the brilliant Foote was also a huge fan of William Faulkner, which I am not, and a big fan of Marcel Proust, whom McCarthy reportedly detests.

Literature is subjective, to say the least...

One item on which we can hopefully all agree, however, is that Stephen King, while entertaining at times, ranks well short of the greats of American letters.

But you wouldn't know that from listening to him.

From TIME Magazine this week (which Drudge posted yesterday), King explains why he is more valuable and relevant than Britney Spears:

"Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan aren't cultural. They aren't political. They're economic only in the mildest sense of the word."

"Britney Spears is just trailer trash. That's all. I mean, I don't mean to be pejorative. But you observe her behavior for the past five years and you say, here's a lady who can't take care of her kids, she can't take care of herself, she has no retirement fund, everything that she gets runs right through her hands.

"And yet, you know and I know that if you go to those sites that tell you what the most blogged-about things on the Internet are, it's Britney, it's Lindsay."

TIME interjects: "[but] Britney Spears...[is] still fairly young. When you were young, fame sort of screwed you up a bit, didn't it?"

King again: "The difference is that Britney is now famous for being famous. Her sales have gone down with almost every album, bigger and bigger jumps, so that nobody really cares about her music anymore. They care about the tabloid headlines and whether or not she's wearing panties. I mean, is this an issue that the American public needs to turn its brainpower on? Britney Spears' lingerie, or lack thereof?"

Does Stephen King have himself confused with William Shakespeare?

For the entire tragically self-important and self-deluded exchange, view here.