Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, October 1, 2011

[David Foster Wallace] rejects criticism that his work is unnecessarily complicated: "I don't have any strong feelings about that, unless if somebody says, 'You know Dave, I read your book and it seems like it required all this hard work just basically for the sake of saying, "Hey fuck you reader, I can make you work hard."' Then I know with that reader I have failed. Then I really feel that they think I'm a putz. And I hate books where, you know, those books where you get halfway through and you get the sense that the author is so stupid that he thinks he can fool you into thinking that the book is really sophisticated and profound just because it's difficult. It's an epidemic in academic writing. And it happens about half the time in avant-garde writing. And it's the thing I most fear as a writer because it's the thing I most hate as a reader. And I'm sure I'm guilty of it sometimes."

—from an interview of DFW by Patrick Arden

No comments:

Post a Comment