An attack on the growing pretentiousness of prose

People who can’t draw often fake it by thickening or smudging their lines. Art teachers flunk students who do this, but the well-meaning viewer will look at the blur and unconsciously create in it the line that makes sense. What you get from writers today is the verbal equivalent of these little ruses, and the same aversion to simplicity and clarity. The way Auster repeats himself all the time, for example, is like a sketch- artist going over and over something with his charcoal — a badly drawn hand, say — until it has an impressively “worked-on” look. Or the way Proulx strings a dozen lame phrases into a long sentence that looks great when you read it with one eye on the TV. This isn’t the sort of late-Faulknerian badness that comes from over-exuberance or pomposity. It strikes me as very calculated, very furtive.

B.R. Myers A Reader’s Manifesto.
And an interview a year after this attack was first published.


[x]#246 fan zaterdag 12 oktober 2002 @ 12:35:34


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lieuwe  op 12 oktober 2002 @ 10:04:41

I fully agree with Mr. Myer