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

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Alexis Contupledy

Hey Dan, care to cite an egregiously facile thrust of 'psychological realism'?

Dan Green

Turn to the first page of any work of conventional literary fiction.

Alexis Contupledy

That seems impossibly vague.

I was hoping you would indulge us and do as you do in your post. Take a paragraph and give us a line by line examination of what makes for tedium, in your view. Just as you showed us why you find Dixon's rendering to be vivid. Take something celebrated and tear it to shreds.

Dan Green

See this post:

And this one:

Robert Nagle

Dan, I haven't read Dixon in a while, and I'm generally a fan, but I find it hard to read this staccato style for more than a few pages without growing weary (I feel the same way with Becket--such as in Happy Days or Krapp's Last Tape). The utterances aren't interesting per se, but the concatenation of utterances hints at a consciousness.

I wouldn't call it slow-going either, but I would describe passages like this as exhausting to read (having to keep track of reference points and significant details). I'd love to listen to one of these novels on audio. As odd as it sounds, with these passages (or even the opposite, the run on sentence) it's hard to decipher how frenetic the narrative's pace should be. At least with actual spoken text, the actor/reader can speed up or slow down the reading (and provide inflection, etc).

Admittedly I am commenting on Dixon's books, and i haven't read any of his longer works in a while. Dixon above all is a master craftsman, and it would be interesting to see how he solves these sorts of formal & stylistic issues within a novel form.

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