December 29, 2004


The 42nd Parallel
John Dos Passos
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
David Foster Wallace

Writing – There is writing you admire for story and writing you admire for writing. In other words, as is the case with these two very good and very different books, storytelling can overshadow the story being told. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The pyrotechnics on the page (detailed footnotes, stream-of-consciousness passages, and other dramatic variations in point of view, voice, style and form) fuel the innovation that keeps literature alive and lively. Imagine where we’d be if there were only one way to tell every story. Of course, the very best literature weaves together the story and the telling in a seamless way.

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