Friday, April 09, 2010

No. 19 - On Moral Fiction

On Moral Fiction (A Harper Torchbook- TB 5069)by John Gardner

Started: April 9
Finished: April 13

Notes: I don't currently feel a need to read any of those how-to-be-a-writer books, but this isn't exactly that. It seems to be more of the author's opinions on criticism and the state of literature during the late 1970s. Yes, this book is slightly more than 30 years old, thus it won't be very up-to-date concerning literature, but it still sounded interesting enough to get into. Also, the late John Gardner is one of the better-known novelists from the mid-20th century and he delved mainly into literary fiction, so I want to see what he had to say. I've not read much by him, but what I did read was spectacular, especially the novel "Grendel," the Beowulf saga tol from the monster Grendel's viewpoint.

Mini review: Though strong on opinion, this was an excellent book for those interested in persuing a literary career. Genre writers might find all this a bit over their heads, or sometimes even rude, but in places Gardner actually has quite positive things to say about the potential of fantasy, science fiction, etc. He especially seemed to appreciate Asimov and Peter Beagle. Admittedly, some of this was over my head, but much of it was not and I found I appreciated it.

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