marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

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
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