RARA-AVIS: Re: Apples and Oranges, sour grapes, and luck.

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 27 Feb 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Jack Bludis <buildsnburns@...> wrote:
    <<First, most best selling fiction, until the movie comes out, is primarily
    "literary." Boys talking to dogs, flying kites in Afghanistan, take offs on Hamlet, Lear, or what have you. Slice of life that it is interesting to many on some intellectual strata that I can't reach or comprehend. And much of it by insiders in a given profession or social strata.>>

    I think you are correct, though you forgot novels about
    "relationships", women's trouble with their sisters and mothers, and, last but not least: NOVELS IN ACADEMIC SETTINGS.

    Now, once in a while a book makes it to the best-seller list that is so unlikely that it restores one's faith in, as you say, the ether up there. Jonathan Franzen's book _The Corrections_ is one of them. Totally unlikely, a bizarre book, not catering to anyone specifically, or rather, trashing everybody the author encounters. But the whole is great, and it sold (and won big prizes, even more bizarre). And Cormac McCarthy is another unlikely who did it. Even Pynchon has been on the bestseller list!

    But mostly, as in really mostly, there are formula books attempting a certain genteelity of telling (faking literariness) or a certain feeling of fellowship with everyman and everywoman. Lear, Hamlet, Oedipus, what have you. Some make me wish for the application of the author's talent to something else. The case of the late lamented John Updike, a gentle soul and a magnificent technician. My secret wish was that Updike would one day let it rip and go Quixotic.

    End of rambling, I lost the thread, folks... I blame Bludis's medication.



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