Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Literary Criticism

I read this at lunch:
It's a commentary about the book A Separate Peace, and it sucks.
What he says is true--A Separate Peace is gayer than we recall but also important because it speaks in a voice that's been lost in our "boy aren't we clever" post modern culture.
But the commentary is terrible because he get's so caught up in style he hardly says anything.
Look, in our Twitter World I'm all for poetry that conveys a truer sense of reality than can be conveyed through bullet points. Sometimes truth needs words. And I'm ok with throwing in elements of style. You should, that's why you learn them.
What I find annoying is trying to stretch a bunt into a homer with clever parallel structure, nifty semantic tricks, and cute inversions. Say something clearly, polish it with style, then find something else interesting.
If you're a writer please stop doing this.


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