Daily Archives: January 16, 2009

Mushed Up Lit

I vaguely remember seeing something like this before or similar, but it is still fun revisit now and then.

When Shakespeare met Seuss: mashing up literature.

and

Merged Books

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Colson Whitehead on Fiction

Thanks to Maude for directing me to Colson Whitehead’s send-up of a certain rather verbose literary critic, ” Wow, fiction works!” Here’s a taste.

As Carver puts it, channeling the sublime:

He lifted the cup.

Aha! cries the famished reader. This is minimalism at its well-marbled finest. The language is clear, bracing. You do not ask, What did this character do? (He lifted.) We do not wonder, What is he acting upon? (The cup.) So often in today’s fiction, we’re left to make our way through the muddle of the author’s hysterical wordplay. It is a false show. Writers confuse the encyclopedic for the illuminating and the meaningful, mistake the exuberance of frenetic language for that which addresses the higher self. When you return to a master like Carver at the end of a long day, it’s a refreshing tonic. This sentence is short, not because it is brief—which it is—but because it has few words.

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