What makes good fiction?  At some level this is certainly a useless question, as ultimately it boils down to a matter of taste.  There are a great number of people who seem to feel, for instance, that Moby Dick is a great piece of art.  I would like to think that they are basing that […]

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As faithful readers of this column will recall, my timetable for book marketing was made a hash of by my printer’s failure to deliver the goods on time.  By the time I had the books in hand, the insanity of the Christmas season was upon us.  So I put most of my marketing campaign on […]

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Fortunately, it’s taken me this long to get around to writing about Part II of Connolly’s Enemies of Promise.  Fortunately, because in the meantime I’ve also read his novel Shade Those Laurels.  As you may recall, Part I of Enemies is a sort of a survey or dissection of literary style.  Part II is an […]

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I’ve just read a very peculiar novel, The Waves, by Virginia Woolf.  As far as I know, all of her novels are peculiar; there are some I have not yet read.  Woolf pushes narrative technique in all kinds of interesting directions.  She writes sort of the way Impressionists paint.  Bits of scenery, a half-seen face, […]

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I have just begun Cyril Connolly’s Enemies of Promise, which, like Orwell’s “Inside the Whale,” is an examination of the state of English literature.  In his youth, Connolly was widely supposed to have a great career as a writer before him, but what he became instead, mostly, was a literary critic.  I generally don’t read […]

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