Re: RARA-AVIS: Writing is Greatly Overrated; It's the story that counts.

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 27 Oct 2007

--- Jack Bludis <> wrote:

> It's not the writing that makes a story or an author
> memorable, it's the story, the novel. Sometimes
> images
> enhance a work, but if it doesn't tell a story? What
> good
> is it?


This is the same argument that gets made in music: It's the singer, not the song. There are so many exceptions and contradictions to the premise you're working from as to make it more distracting than convincing. For example, Joyce's Ulysses pretty much has no story or the story it tells relies on a myth that is woven into the text. It is the writing of that story that makes it brilliant whether it's your cuppa or not. Marquez's Hundred Years of Solitude is another obvious example. The way that tale was crafted, its style, its pace, the whole deal was in the writing. Chandler is all style since by the end of the book even he can't remember who killed whom and it can leave an unsatisfied taste in the mouth. Right now I'm trying to get through a book by Ross McDonald and I wish he would show some style or give me a story because right now there isn't much of either. So I think it is both and always both even if sometimes it seems to be one over the other.


Essays and Ramblings

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