Saturday, January 19, 2013

T.C. Boyle

“I do feel that literature should be demystified. What I object to is what is happening in our era: literature is only something you get at school as an assignment. No one reads for fun, or to be subversive or to get turned on to something. It's just like doing math at school. I mean, how often do we sit down and do trigonometry for fun, to relax. I've thought about this, the domination of the literary arts by theory over the past 25 years -- which I detest -- and it's as if you have to be a critic to mediate between the author and the reader and that's utter crap. Literature can be great in all ways, but it's just entertainment like rock'n'roll or a film. It is entertainment. If it doesn't capture you on that level, as entertainment, movement of plot, then it doesn't work. Nothing else will come out of it. The beauty of the language, the characterisation, the structure, all that's irrelevant if you're not getting the reader on that level -- moving a story. If that's friendly to readers, I cop to it."

1 comment:

  1. I posted this quote because I've got a total literary-boner for Boyle's philosophy on writing. And while I'm at it I am gonna give Boyle's work my highest recommendation for those few of you that actually read this blog. Boyle is a very gifted writer and a phenomenal satirist. He takes the more implausible elements of humanity, brings them to the surface, makes them even more implausible, and then makes you completely buy into the story. I've only read his short stories (every single class I'm taking right now is reading-heavy so I'm gonna have to put off reading novels for pleasure), but they're generally really good. Head to the local library and check out one of his connections, if you're lucky enough to find a copy of his complete short fiction collection then pick it up and go to town. Other than a couple pacing problems with two slow, slightly long-winded stories being placed back to back a couple times the book is spot-on.