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

COLLECTED ESSAYS ON LITERATURE AND CRITICISM:

TRE Press
Realisms

THE IDEA OF LITERATURE

Tiol

EXPERIMENTAL FICTION NOW

EFN2

INNOVATIVE WOMEN WRITERS

Iww

AMERICAN POSTMODERN FICTION

APF (2)

BETWEEN SILLINESS AND SATIRE:BLACK HUMOR FICTION

BSS

LET'S REVIEW: BOOK REVIEWING AS LITERARY CRITICISM

LR

THE ART OF DISTURBANCE: THE NOVELS OF JAMES PURDY

AODPurdy

« Native Sensibilities | Main | The Center of the Critic's Task »

12/06/2005

Comments

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amcorrea

Beautifully stated.

Richard

This post reminds me of a passage I've always loved from William H. Gass' excellent introduction to The Recognitions:

"No great book is explicable, and I shall not attempt to explain this one. An explanation--indeed, any explanation--would defile it, for reduction is precisely what a work of art opposes. Easy answers, convenient summaries, quiz questions, annotations, arrows, highlight influences, an outline of its design--useful as sometimes such helps are--nevertheless seriously mislead. Guidebooks are useful, but only to what is past. Interpretation replaces the original with the lamest sort of substitute. It takes, disarms. "Okay, I get it," we say, dusting our hands, "and that takes care of that." "At last I understand Kafka" is a foolish and conceited remark."

steve mitchelmore

Thanks for helping me out there Dan. I couldn't have expressed it so well. I was expecting - perhaps deliberately provoking - comments asserting that my loathing was due entirely to snobbery. Such an opinion would, I think, only reveal a lack of interest in literature.

Lars

Spectacular post.

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