Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
ludickid

An enlightening, instructive and entertaining excerpt from Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds

In reply to an inquiry, it was explained that a satisfactory novel should be a self-evident sham to which the reader could regulate at will the degree of his credulity. It was undemocratic to compel characters to be uniformly good or bad or poor or rich. Each should be allowed a private life, self-determination and a decent standard of living. This would make for self-respect, cotentment and better service. It would be incorrect to say that it would lead to chaos. Characters should be interchangeable as between one book and another. The entire corpus of existing literature should be regarded as a limbo from which discerning authors could draw their character as required, creating only when they failed to find a suitable existing puppet. The modern novel should be largely a work of reference. Most authors spend their time saying what has been said before -- usually said much better. A wealth of references to exiting works would acquaint the reader instantaneously with the nature of each character, would obviate tiresome explanations and would effectively preclude mountebanks, upstarts, thimbleriggers and persons of inferior education from an understanding of contemporary literature. Conclusion of explanation.

That is all my bum, said Brinsley.
Tags: lit
Subscribe

  • The Party of What People?

    This will be my last entry of 2016.  Next year will begin, barring some unexpected act of fate, with the ascension to the presidency of Donald…

  • America the Impossible

    Today is the Fourth of July, America’s national holiday.  Longtime readers of this site will know that every day on this year, I post a little…

  • Deep Reads #6: Forces in the Field

    From  The Trouble with Principle by Stanley Fish: “Many bad things are now being done in the name of neutral principles, and I hope it is…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments