RARA-AVIS: no-style?

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 19 Nov 2001

>An amusing romp through, and pan of, modern pop fiction (including pop
>crime fiction). The piece lists six keys to this "style," which the
>unironic or clueless aspiring writer may appear to be recomenndations:

> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40763-2001Nov16.html

does this go to the whole elite/literary quandary? I have to wonder if anybody who calls Janet Evanovich a "no-style" writer has read her stuff. Not to say you have to like her, but if his point is that the works are indistinguishable, that hardly applies to JE's slapsticky, poop-joke obsessed books. I suppose I can see the more recent Sue Grafton books (esp. since M is for. . .) Also, the smug statement about a "television mentality" in popular fiction makes you wonder if they even watch television (does this mean The Sopranos or Judging Amy?) And then he uses the quote of a professor who read one Stephen King book years ago and can't even remember which one it was to conclude that, "Hey, King sucks, too". Also like the notion that "even" pulp novelists used to have style.

As for the notion that "Elements of Style" has done more harm than good - the author here seems oblivious to the notion that it's primarily supposed to be a tool for *nonfiction* writers - journalists, essayists, etc.
(though, interestingly, I've heard similar complaints about the Raymond Carver minimalist school of fiction).


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