fiction files redux discussion

A Reader's Manifesto

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message 1: by Pavel (new)

Pavel Kravchenko (pavelk) | 96 comments "Junot Díaz’s “Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” is a wondrous, not-so-brief first novel that is so original it can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets “Star Trek” meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West."

That's so retarded, it can only be described as retarded.

message 2: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Aug 24, 2009 08:59PM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
I after reading Cormac Mcarthy do like his prose but to be honest, liking or disliking a writer's style is subjective, (Along with the pure hatred that I have for Kanye West.) James Patterson write more concisely and clearly but his books are very light in thought and actual story, and I do dole out an equal amount of hatred for that guy.

I do take some comfort in Mcarthy padding his prose by repeating tortilla because I did that with my first novel (mine was wept and door) and now feel better that I am in the company of giants who also (are perchieved to) have screwed up once in a while. I never noticed Cormac repeating things and as a reader I sometimes lose track of the writing because I get lost in the story.

I think it can work both ways, the thinned out writing or bland writing but precise writing being overlooked in the name of the story or the clumsy wordy writing being overlooked in the name of the story. Annnd Kayne West also have done written a book himself!

message 3: by Andreea (new)

Andreea (andyyy) I don't think reviewing books for the New York Times counts as criticism and for that matter I rarely read book reviews. Why bother with Proulx if she's that much of a bad writer when you can (re)read Proust?

message 4: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
There was a time when reviews used to be considered criticism because they used to be thoughtful.

The reviews I like now are written almost exclusively by writers because they have that lens into the work being a result of the creator's craft.

And I like Michael Dirda. Because I've read him for years.

Criticism in the strictest sense... is now relegated to the use of theory in the ivory tower. It has its uses, I suppose. I probably use what I studied all the time without really thinking about which theory I'm using, mostly because it was beaten into my brain for 4 years.

message 5: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
I think that Kakutani Michiko's reviews are stirring and luminous and that they limn entire books in just a handful of sentences

message 6: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
actually I dont think that at all

message 7: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Aug 25, 2009 12:22PM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
It's nice to see book reviewers get reviewed themselves. Maybe in the next century, we will have books review reviewers' reviews reviewers' reviews reviewers' reviews,

message 8: by Martyn (last edited Aug 25, 2009 02:00PM) (new)

Martyn | 299 comments I think this is all a bit generalised...there's some wonderful critics out there...I mean heck, Professor John Carey's critical work changed my entire views on literary modernism...the essays of David Thomson on such concepts as film stars are excellent...I love Kim Newman's and Peter Bradshaw's film reviews...and I don't know what you people are reading, but I get several journals and magazines filled with wonderful, insightful stuff...people tend to say silly things all the time...that does not mean there's "dark days" just means you're probably not reading the good stuff...I mean sometimes Germaine Greer's articles have me howling with laughter...much like the work of Camille Paglia...and then sometimes Greer will write a very wonderful article...most of the people I mentioned are yeah, they have insight...but aren't critics writers by the very act? Caught in flagrante delicto?

And that quote, "those who can't do, critize." It's not so plain sailing as that...what if it they do both...and are good at both?

message 9: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
like Randal Jarrell? then they're whatcha callit - belletrists

message 10: by Patrick, photographic eye (new)

Patrick | 133 comments Mod
that old myer's article, just feels like so much hand-wringing to me. some interesting bits of argument, but it's all so glib and snarky. and not in a fun way. it's almost as wearisome as reading Delillo.

tons of responses to it out there... this is just one.

message 11: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod

more adventures in kakutani-ness

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