Btb3
Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

« Blissfully Free of Politics | Main | Aesthetic Heroes »

12/13/2004

Comments

Amardeep

I agree with you that the 'flaws' he finds are a bit small. I have a sneaking suspicion that the anomaly in the Zadie Smith novel, for instance, might be intentional (it kind of adds something to 'recovered history' theme in the novel).

His point about whether the new crop of multicultural fiction sometimes proposes answers that are a little too easy ("You can do whatever you want") seems more serious. But the flaw might not be the reader's failure to achieve the properly "readerly" frame of mind so much as it is a function of market forces that impact the writer's choices about how they resolve their stories. It sounds quite cynical, but these writers are thinking about the movie rights they're going to sell (how long before "White Teeth" is a movie?). They're thinking about the financial advantages of "happy" endings resulting in the empowerment of their protagonists.

We all know that commercial considerations are nothing new. As I recall from my graduate seminar days, writers from Richardson to Dickens were acutely aware of what their readers demanded -- they got feedback in the mail every week. Sometimes they even tweaked their own stories in mid-stream on reader demand!

I still find some of books Khair is talking about to be quite good (I'm planning to try my hand at teaching "Brick Lane" in the spring).

Dan Green

Amardeep: You may be right about "market forces," although I would like to think that writers such as Smith and Monica Ali are serious enough about their work that they'd not simply give in to them.

amcorrea

(White Teeth was adapted by the BBC and aired on Masterpiece Theatre here in the States.)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Jp3
The Art of Disturbance--Available as Pdf and Kindle Ebook
Deweylp1
Literary Pragmatism--Available as a Pdf