« One Screenful | Main | The Larger Scope of Literature »




This discussion reminds me of a comment a local (Baltimore) movie reviewer made about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (a movie I love, incidentally), that the thing with a movie "like that" is to determine whether its "story" would still be compelling if told in a more straightforward manner. In his opinion, it would not have been and he therefore judged Eternal Sunshine as lacking. As if the story existed separate from the manner in which it was told.

Jonathan David Jackson

Dan, I agree with you and Richard that style is not ornamental but a far more generative and originating element--the hard-to-pin-down gestalt that informs all of our decision-making in our work. Style = skin, organs, body systems rather than clothes.

Trent Walters

Jonathan David Jackson (and indirectly Richard),

Your metaphor is yours, not mine. Go back to my earlier metaphor of a song. Taking out style from some stories as one might remove lyrics from a song creates a different song. Take the music out of a movie, and depending on how heavily it depends on music to evoke feeling, it may fall apart. This isn't a condemnation of music or lyrics or style, but part and parcel of how the beast functions. Please understand my argument before pigeon-holing it.

Jonathan David Jackson


I certainly was not trying to pigeon-hole your refreshing ideas. My post was clearly directed to Dan and Richard's ideas. Sadly, you seemed to take it differently. Just because I disgree doesn't make your views off-beat. If fact, your blog stirs me to think with gusto. Thank you.

Dan does have a valid point in my view about the generative nature of style rather than style as ornament.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

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

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.


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.)

Windows 3
Many Windows: On Experimental Fiction
Sorrentino banner
In Progress