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Posts Tagged ‘20th Century Amercian Literature’

we use the magazine to pump the book and vice versa

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/08/he-told-the-truth-about-his-time-john-ohara-butterfield-8.html?mbid=gnep&google_editors_picks=true

In the newest New Yorker we have rediscovered the ‘tack’ of John O’Hara, who happens to have the highest short story output for the magazine, in order to hype the re-release of his Depression-era novel from Penguin Classics. A grand waste of time? Yes, but only if you’re familiar with the author. This placement, it cannot be a ‘new thing’, is so J’en sais pas I have indeed vomited in my mouth once again. Though forgive me for ennui does certain things to a 32-year old man. In conclusion, simply, blah.

 

Evan Kerry

Aug. 2013

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The article in question is located here: http://www.slate.com/id/2084913/

The Slate article above, though it is from 2003, raises some interesting questions. First, thank you Oprah for selecting that novel for your book club. I salute you and your cultural authority, if only this once. Second, Steinbeck is vastly underrated compared to his boozy counterparts-namely Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway. Steinbeck is about as underrated as Joyce is overrated. “Hunh, you’re crazy Evankerry, why would you write such mush.” Well, lets see, on my scale the clarity of Steinbeck is far heavier than the stuff  Joyce dictated towards the end of his life. But anyways the essence of the Slate article is summed up in this sentence: “Even if you concede that Steinbeck produced his best work in the 1930s, especially during a short hot streak from 1935 to 1939, when he published Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, The Long Valley, and The Grapes of Wrath, that’s better work than most writers ever dream of.” Did you read that clearly, ‘ever dream of’, Ladies and Gentlemen I think Steinbeck is a top contender for the undisputed heavyweight of 20th century American literature. Please comment and tell me who you think is better and why? I’m dying to know.

Back to the article, so yeah John did put out some crappy books, but who hasn’t. I mean I haven’t even finished my first one, so who am I to complain about Joyce and his moderniste agenda. Steinbeck is too simply read they’ll say. Well, I won’t even get into the literaryness of a given thing, just take my word for it Steinbeck is a giant, the pride of the pride if you will. And that about sums up this post, if you are into Steinbeck like I am you might want to get your hands on this book:

Steinbeck: The Contemporary Reviews – available at Google Books >>>>>>>

http://books.google.com/books?id=c2S8kJffd0AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Steinbeck+the+contemporary+reviews&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA271,M1

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