Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 503981 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #230 on: February 01, 2011, 07:46:47 pm »
Yes, I did.

My dear, your critical sense is sound, but your opinion alone does not make someone or something "famously regarded."
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #231 on: February 01, 2011, 08:31:22 pm »
Well, quite a lot of people have moaned and complained about her style and Dwight Garner writes:

"What is that signature style? Reading Ms. Proulx’s prose is like bouncing along rutted country roads in a pickup truck with no shock absorbers. Her books are packed with arcane flora and fauna and eccentrically named towns and characters. Many writers employ unusual verbs and adjectives; Ms. Proulx likes weird nouns. Her cluttered style is, in a kind of reverse way, as jewel-encrusted as Gustav Klimt’s."

This is from our thread entitled Annie Proulx's Memoir:
 http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,46240.msg599654.html#msg599654
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #232 on: February 01, 2011, 09:21:57 pm »
My dear, your critical sense is sound, but your opinion alone does not make someone or something "famously regarded."

That was badly and baldly said. I apologize. I should have said something like, "My dear, I respect your critical sense, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that one opinion alone does not make something 'famously regarded.'"
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #233 on: February 02, 2011, 06:08:58 pm »
We're getting off topic, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to quote from a reviewer of The Shipping News by lisaMariaClark that is illustrative of how legions of readers feel about Annie Proulx's style:

Quote
Proulx is the author of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" which was made into the film of the same name. I read that short story soon after seeing the movie and remember finding it moving. But Proulx might be one of those authors whose extreme styles are more effective (at least for me) at the shorter lengths. I love several short stories by James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway, for instance, but hate the novels by them I've tried.

In the case of Proulx, her style quickly wore on me. I'm truly not a Grammar Nazi; fiction is not meant to be an essay. But she uses sentence fragments so frequently she doesn't flow, and boy she piles on the metaphors in her drawn-out descriptions. But the worse part is the protagonist: Quoyle. This is a paragraph of how he's described early on which should give you an idea of Proulx's characterization and style:

A great damp loaf of a body. At six he weighed eighty pounds. At sixteen he was buried under a casement of flesh. Head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair ruched back. Features as bunched as kissed fingertips. Eyes the color of plastic. The monstrous chin, a freakish shelf jutting from the lower face.

Note the choppy syntax. That could be effective done sparingly but the entire book is written like that. (And er...plastic has a color? Kissed fingertips are bunched? Really?) Quoyle's a lump of a character in every way who has never been able to hold a job long. His wife, Petal Bear, who thankfully is killed off early in the novel, sold their two young girls to a pornographer. (The girls are found before they can be harmed.)

The pace is slooooow and about a third of the way I knew I'd had enough. I struggled to get that far. Painful. If you don't love Proulx's style--and I hated it--there's no reason to stay.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #234 on: February 02, 2011, 07:47:56 pm »
We're getting off topic, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to quote from a reviewer of The Shipping News by lisaMariaClark that is illustrative of how legions of readers feel about Annie Proulx's style:

I still think your own use of nouns is a bit overblown ("Legions"? C'mon. ...), but at least you are offering evidence besides your own opinion. This is a good thing.  :)

I don't think you get to be an award-winning author if "legions" of readers find you, well, unreadable.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #235 on: February 02, 2011, 08:41:42 pm »
Well, legions or no, I'm in the group. I couldn't get far into TSN either, for pretty much the reasons that writer describes (though I DO get the "kissed/bunched fingers" imagery).


Offline oilgun

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #236 on: February 07, 2011, 08:05:42 pm »
This article is pretty long but is so far (five pages of 26) a great read.

The Apostate
Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology.
by Lawrence Wright February 14, 2011

On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote. Before the 2008 elections, a staff member at Scientology’s San Diego church had signed its name to an online petition supporting Proposition 8, which asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only “between a man and a woman.” The proposition passed. As Haggis saw it, the San Diego church’s “public sponsorship of Proposition 8, which succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California—rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state—is a stain on the integrity of our organization and a stain on us personally. Our public association with that hate-filled legislation shames us.” Haggis wrote, “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.” He concluded, “I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.”


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright#ixzz1DJxVwgdk



Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #237 on: February 14, 2011, 11:02:11 pm »
Yes I only read 5 pages too. Everything you never wanted to know about Scientology...and more!!!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #238 on: February 14, 2011, 11:38:41 pm »
In typical fashion for me, I've got more than one issue going at once. I'm reading the Paul Haggis/Scientology article at home, and I'm finding it fascinating.

(If nothing else, I'm learning a lot about Paul Haggis's career. I'd never even heard the name, as far as I can remember, until the Crash win, but he's been involved in a lot of productions I have heard of.)

Meanwhile, over lunch I've been reading Ben McGrath's article in the January 31 issue about head injuries in football. One of the experts mentioned in the article was Dr. Robert Cantu. During my brief stint as a copy editor at the W.B. Saunders company, I edited a book by Cantu, Neurologic Athletic Head and Spine Injuries, published by Saunders in 2000, so I've been aware of this issue for more than ten years.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #239 on: February 16, 2011, 02:15:08 pm »
Here's a puzzlement.

Over my lunch today, among other things, I read the capsule review for a production of Moliere's The Misanthrope in the February 7 issue. The review includes the sentence, "The story involves a young nobleman disgusted by the phoniness and superficiality around him in the courtly circles of Louis XVI."

Hunh?  ???

Moliere lived and worked at the court of Louis XIV, in the 17th century. So, is that XVI an error for XIV, or is this productionn set a hundred years after Moliere, maybe because someone likes the clothes better?  ???

I also got a kick out of David Denby's descriptions of Ashton Kutcher (in Denby's review of No Strings Attached) as resembling "a pensive mushroom," and as "pointlessly tall."  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.