8 dic. 2010

One Exception

... to my abiding interest in the 1945-75 period is mainstream fiction. I don't care to revisit the Roth, Bellow, and Updike novels I used to read. I have no interest in Malamud or Cheever, John O'Hara. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy some of this material back in the day, but I don't really feel like doing back there, back to that place. Some day I might go and see how Vonnegut has held up, though I'm afraid of what I might find. It might be better to have my memories of it than to attempt to experience it all over again as a 50-year old guy.

6 comentarios:

Sarang dijo...

I recently reread Cat's Cradle; that hasn't held up at all and probably isn't much fun except if you're a teen. The one Roth novel I really like, _Sabbath_, does not belong to this period. Is British mainstream fiction (say Muriel Spark) encompassed in your yawn? And how about mainstream short stories?

Jonathan dijo...

I like some of Iris Murdoch. I read many, many short stories in the New York by mainstream writers in the 1970s. After a while tedium sets in. All those perfect stories!

Vance Maverick dijo...

[Second try -- ignore if superfluous]

What do you make of Barthelme (D)?

(I'll assume you wouldn't file Pynchon under "mainstream".)

Jonathan dijo...

I went through a big Barthelme phase in the 70s. I don't like his sons very much, but he was ok. I don't know if it's something I would revisit now.

Thomas dijo...

I have something like empathy for Roth. I think his novels are bad in exactly the way my novels would be bad if I ever tried to write one.

Jonathan dijo...

That's how I feel about certain poets. That they write poems that look like those written by intelligent and otherwise talented people who lack just one element in their make-up: the ability to write a poem.