marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

A Reader's Manifesto

A Reader's Manifesto: An attack on the growing pretentiousness of American literary prose by B. R. Myers

superversive posted a link to his own review lately, and I decided to look it up. . . .

An interesting analysis of modern-day literary style with some horrible examples contrasted with some much better ones, either old or "genre".  (He laments the decline of the old "high-brow/middle-brow/low-brow" divide for "literary/genre.")

It does remind me of the problem with analyzing style:  taking sentences out of context tends to change them.  It can remove the bone-wearying repetitiveness of a monotonous style, or subtract meaning, or just make things look wrong in isolation.  Though Myers did a good job of trying to overcome these issues.

It also includes a response to the critics, since the portion of it originally published in The Atlantic Monthly drew critical attention.

Plus ten handy rules for writers if you actually want to emulate this writers and be Serious and Literary!  (Amusing and useful for other writers, too.  "Just because novels should be a chore to read doesn't mean they have to be a chore to write.")
Tags: how-to-write books, lit crit, non-historical non-fiction reviews, reading

  • stealing the back story

    Sometimes the thing you want to rip off is an element of the backstory. Perhaps you think it's more interesting than the main story, or perhaps you…

  • tale of a child

    There are fairy tales with child protagonists, of course. If you read up on them, there are even tales that start with child protagonists who are…

  • ages of history

    So, once upon a time, there were evil wizards making everyone miserable. Some of the more minor wizards banded together and took over and made…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded