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Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press
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04/24/2006

Comments

Jordan

**twitching at the mention of Ames-jay ey-Fray**

R. J. Thomson

This was a fascinating post (for which read: I disagree quite a bit, but liked it a lot). Fiction can be a deeply beautiful thing for precisely its fiction, as you say, but I think to assume any form of expression has a kind of fundamental supremacy over another is dangerous. I cite Primo Levi in as many ways as possible.

The borders one might choose to fix here - in relation to 'form' - are key. I do not propose the spoons to be an instrument of equal expressive potential as the piano, or human voice. But I would be uncomfortable saying a ballad can never achieve the 'heights' of a symphony.

I think it is easier to write a bad memoir than a bad adventure story. (This last point, of subjective relevance, is for me 'explosive'!)

Dan Green

"I would be uncomfortable saying a ballad can never achieve the 'heights' of a symphony."

So would I, but a ballad (as traditionally defined)is normally a narrative recounting the experience of dramatized characters, not a form for fixating on self.

R. J. Thomson

True, the example could have been clearer. Still, I'm not sure the best memoirs fixate on self at all (though it's obviously going to be a big part).

Dan Green

I would agree that the best ones do not.

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