Re: RARA-AVIS: Unreliable narrator

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 14 Nov 2005

At 08:18 AM 14/11/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>However, in my experience, the top
>literary books are really well-written, whereas best-sellers tend to go
>the other
>way, because the general reading public reads for plot and idea and doesn't
>recognize good writing from bad.

I think that's a bit of a post-modern clich鬠and one that conveniently lets writers off the hook. Do we forget that a lot of the books we're now calling literary originally appeared in the popular, pulp press? And why should people have to recognize good from bad writing? Shouldn't good writing just work better, be more effective in communicating?

Anyway, things HAVE changed and in a way that suggests to me that people do recognize effective communication. My sense is that a broad swath of the reading (or not reading) public is on to the techniques of persuasive (what is "truth") writing and resist it for precisely that reason. Reading has become highly politicized, even more than in the past. I suspect many who don't like Huck Finn haven't read the book because they don't want to be influenced by it, and don't want anyone else to be influenced by it either. The charge of racism is a cover to promote ignorance under the guise of political correctness. Much easier to push your own point of view if you can keep folks from reading competing points of view. This is a generalization, of course, but then so is your statement.

Best, Kerry

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Nov 2005 EST