I agree with A.C. Douglas when he writes:
. . .much as one wishes it were not the case, classical music is not, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever even marginally be, an object of mass or even widespread appeal no matter how vigorously and assiduously it may be promoted.
And, as Douglas adds, this "applies, mutatis mutandis, to all the arts of high culture," including literature. Where Douglas goes wrong, in my opinion, is in further claiming that serious art is, "by its very nature, a fundamentally elitist enterprise, and should never be viewed or promoted as anything other."
Art is "elitist" only if an "elite" audience can be defined as "small" or "self-selected." If Douglas means to suggest, as I suspect he probably does, that those who appreciate serious art are for that reason, or because of some preexisting set of chararcteristics, a superior caste, I cannot go along with him. I defer to no one in my enjoyment of the products of what Douglas calls "high culture," but there is nothing about my preferences that makes them objectively "finer" than someone else's preferences. Where would such putatively objective standards come from, except from the practices of those who also enjoy serious art, who have enjoyed them in the past and have passed along both the standards and the works of art and literarature to which they have been applied? Those of us who accept these standards might like to think of ourselves as an "elite" because we have put in the time and attention required to understand their relevance, but this only means we like to spend our time on certain kinds of music or certain kinds of writing rather than others, not that we're privy to secrets that others can't share.
I do agree that it's futile to "pander" to audiences who don't otherwise seem to care about classical music or lyric poetry or abstract art. If the actual audiences for such endeavors are small, what, finally, is the problem? Only when a subsidiary cultural "industry" grows up around these pursuits, an industry that must have its financial needs met, does it become crucual to sell more books and fill more concert halls. Plenty of people might be led to appreciate classical music or serious fiction, but not through artificial efforts to reach the People, which only distort the very art supposedly being defended.