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

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Jonathan  Mayhew

If there's one thing I hate more than surrealist whimsy it's the rhetoric of "risk-taking" misapplied. Let's save that for the few writers who really do take risks.

Jimmy Beck

Maybe it's the characters who fail to take risks. For example, "I fuck porcupines and I do it well" seems to me like a much bolder claim.


Thanks for this review-review. I don't know why people fall all over tepid whimsy when there's so much more interesting writing out there.

But I was actually moved to comment because of this: the "rich dessert" remark. It reminds of the narrator of James Purdy's "I Am Elijah Thrush" (the narrator is not Elijah), who says this about his work as a writer, a "paid memoirist":

"My work was painful, as eating eclairs and napoleons seven hours a day might be, but my habit (which I will describe considerably later on) demanded that I support it."

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