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Posted by Frank Jewett, on ETC Message Board
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"Americaís 'serious' authors are usually no fun at all, and yes, fun is an important part of art - as much as beauty, to name another discredited ideal. Iíve read a lot of Updike, but the books evaporated like rubbing alcohol. I tried some latter Mailer, but it was like watching an old man dribble alphabet soup. The books that stay with me without exception are the ones written by 'genre' authors - crime, horror, sci-fi - because they're freed from the obligations of Literature. Nothing seizes up one's ability to Comment Our Our Times like the necessity to Comment On Our Times. Genre writers usually sneak up on truth from behind, or drive past it and throw a beer can at its head. They dress it up in a funny costume and give it a walk-on part. Mostly they just write, because they want to. Modern lit often strikes me as a Gehry funhouse, applauded for its dazzling skin and insular disregard for the forms of daily life. Genre works are tract houses where the really interesting people live."
James Lileks

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