Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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Mark Sarvas

Excellent points all and in the main I would agree. I think it's the creative kiss of death to start from a stance of being "relevant" and I'm not especially recommending that. One's starting stance is generally (and should be) desire to tell a story. I suspect my questions of novelistic "relevancy" (something I'm still seeking to answer) stem from the choices that get made today, the desire to engage form above all else. I think that tends to alienate wider audiences.

That said, I do think there's more to the Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck was heartsick over the plight of migrant workers and Grapes was a conscious attempt to get that story in front of a wider audience. He took a deeply personal concern and made it universal. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

Thanks for the thoughtful dialogue; I promise to cease & desist as a comment hog and restrict myself to my home base.

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