Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 22 Jan 2004

David Moran wrote:
> A great book to read on this score is B.R. Myers's "A Reader's Manifesto:
> Attack on the Growing Pretentiousness in American Literary Prose." I
> hate literary polemics, but Myers has got a lot of really smart things to
> about the way American letters have been going; he doesn't blame an
> increasingly illiterate populace, but a mutual back-scratching conspiracy
> bad authors and snobby critics. Myers bashes a number of critically
> writers that unequivocally deserve to be bashed. Unfortunately, one of
> writers happens to be my beloved Cormac McCarthy, but Myers makes some
> good points about him, taking him to task for his most egregious excesses
> windbaggy, overheated prose. The offenses seem even worse when he
> them to passages of unpretentious concision and clarity from Zane Grey.

********************** Great post. And thanks for the recommendation, David. The Myers book sounds interesting. Strange about the complaints about McCarthy, though. I thought that his florid style was meant to contrast the stark scenery he was describing. I thought it worked, too.


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