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

From: Gonzalo Baeza (gbaeza@gmail.com)
Date: 28 Feb 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Apples and Oranges, sour grapes, and luck."

    I wish the best-seller lists were actually comprised of literary fiction, even if a lot of it is stale and derivative. Most best-selling fiction these days actually consists of formulaic genre garbage such as James Patterson-style, assembly-line thrillers with three-page chapters, borderline porn romances with effeminate vampires and repetitive legal thrillers.


    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "jacquesdebierue"
    <jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:
    > --- 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
    > Best,
    > mrt

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