RARA-AVIS: no-style

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

Mario wrote:
>I would say that such putative complaints are 100% bullshit. Anyone >who
>blames Ray Carver for another author's failings doesn't know >anything
>about writing, or about Carver, or about "the Carver school". >In fact, no
>such school ever existed, nor did Ray want to create one. >He just taught
>writing. Shall we next blame Chandler for the bad, stale work that his
>clones >have published over the years?

Mario, I'm inclined to agree. There are certainly writing teachers
(I've encountered them) who cling resolutely and often wrongly to "less is more" as an unwavering rule, but the problem is the rigidity, not the philosophy itself. Ultimately, any real writer is going to find his or her own voice and not adhere slavishly to what their teacher told them anyway. Columnists just like to blame somebody for "what's wrong with the world today" because they get paid to.

The New Yorker ran a hilarious piece a few months ago in response to a purported study linking concise writing style with the early onset of senility - suggesting "the new elements of style," bad writing in service of mental health, it included pointers like "Use 'the fact that' as often as possible."


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 19 Nov 2001 EST