Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Morning Reading: "Art is what art wants to be."

Tonight, HECTOR TOBAR  returns to Orange County as part of Gustavo Arellano's "Awesome Lecture Series" at Fullerton Public Library. Tobar will read and discuss his novel  The Barbarian Nurseries.

 7 PM. 353 W. Commonwealth Ave.  FREE!

You can find Tobar in this morning's Los Angeles Times in a piece titled "George Saunders hasn't written a novel, and I don't care."

...Art is what art wants to be. Saunders is a prose stylist with a half-dozen different styles in his literary arsenal. In each of his stories he’s showing his mastery over one, or two or several of those weapons. And he's doing so with a truly rare combination of compassion, insight and a willingness to go to all the freaky places his imagination will take him. If he goes his entire career without writing a novel I won’t complain, just as I have very little complaints about there not being a big Chekhov novel.
At the same time, I think I understand why Saunders hasn’t written a novel, even though, as Chen points out, he’s tried.
 Simply put, I think George Saunders hasn’t written a novel because he’s too much of a prose perfectionist. Because he’s unwilling to write a mediocre page. Because he likes the control the short-story form gives him...
...A successful short-story writer, however, can’t get away with crafting two or three mediocre paragraphs. Writing to that kind of standard is a habit that can become so deeply ingrained, I think, that many of those writers can’t bring themselves to build the one or two clunky rafters that are required to hold up the roof of a novel. With a short story, the reader’s attention is more focused. George Saunders is building perfect, if smaller constructions, with nary a wasted word. And we writers and readers love and admire him for it...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea.

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