RARA-AVIS: Re: Tobias Jones on Ross Macdonald in yesterday's Guardian

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 05 Aug 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Mark Sullivan <DJ-Anonyme@...> wrote:
    > Mario wrote:
    > "I don't feel any particular need to have literary heroes. All I care about is good books. I don't care who wrote them or how famous the author is."
    > I'm guessing there's a little hyperbole here. Don't you care who wrote them at least to the extent of the track record of certain authors? Aren't you more likely to pick up a new book by certain authors because you have found past writing by them satisfying?
    > Mark

    Well, I don't care when I'm reading, which is the only active part of all this. If I pick up a PI novel by Joe Schmoe, I don't think at all of who the writer is, let alone of Chandler or Ross Macdonald. I just read it. For picking readings, I prefer word of mouth rather than the press. Many great books I've picked up because somebody mentioned them here, without me knowing anything about the author, sometimes first novels where obviously there isn't any possible prior anointing...

    What I see in this society is that it is increasingly difficult to separate art (including literature) from celebrity -- and I am not interested at all in personalities. For all I care, the writer of a great book can be totally dull and uninteresting as a person. I only care about the book.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but the amount of hype (read: lies) is becoming unbearable. In this, I am in agreement with Kevin Smith. If I turn on the television, which is not often, I have to turn it off quickly because I feel they are lying to me. You see, I am very simple-minded and I take it personally... And I have read too many book reviews that have nothing to do with the book. The critics might as well not have read it, there is nothing visceral or personal in the review.

    This is a somewhat big topic, so I'll cut it here.



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