Posts Tagged ‘Toni Morrison’

Toni Morrison in 1994 won the Nobel Prize. John Leonard wrote a barely cogent piece in Harper’s to relate the event to Harper’s readers. Upon reading Leonard’s article I was struck by the benedictions he weaves for Morrison.  Furthermore I was taken aback by the following excerpt wherein Leonard makes claims upon his unwavering devotion to Morrison and her books: 

All of us took Beloved personally; its career in the world mattered more to us than our own, like a favorite child.

This is blatant favoritism on Leonard’s part and I will not tolerate it. LoL. But seriously can anyone give a critic, dead or alive, credence when he so openly displays his predilection for a certain writer?  I know it has happened before and will certainly happen again though now I hold all of John Leonards’ writings up for criticism with a microscopic lense.

I will not get started on the dearth of genius that Toni Morrison possesses.

Here is a link to the article in question: http://www.thenation.com/doc/19940117/leonard

Happy Reading!

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In his merciless review of Toni Morrison’s historical novel A Mercy B.R. Myers does not hold back.  His review articulates my feelings on Morrison, that is why I am so enamoured with it.  From her purposely incorrect grammar to her inability to do the thing and go a little deeper.  Myers even compares her work with Zola and Steinbeck, which kind of makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit that she could even be considered with those two.  Yeah sure she has won the Nobel Prize you say.  But who cares when her writing is so insipid.

I am so gung-ho over his review that I would like to pull up another from the NY Times.  Though I have not read A Reader’s Manifesto by Myers I can almost gauge its’ effectiveness by Judith Shulevitz’s review of the thing from September 9, 2001. Shulevitz concedes that Paul Auster and Cormac McCarthy are terrible authors. No I’m just kidding but she does admit their faults and that their sentences sometimes lack a little spiked punch, which I blame the publishers for wholeheartedly.  B ut then she makes the corny statement that because they have their faults, which makes them truly human I might add, we get to love them more when we actually come across a good sentence.  Oh and then she mentions Don DeLillo’s high comedy White Noise but I was so bored after reading all of the two pages of the review that I was half way into a coma.

Here’s hoping B.R. Myers comes out with some more Literary reviews in the future.

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Take it from me there is nothing worse than reading bad writing which is focused upon more bad writing. Now I don’t know what your stance is on Toni Morrison, (little know fact: she is Jim’s second cousin) or on Updike and frankly I don’t care either. Now, now sensitive reader don’t close your browser just yet I still have a quasi-rant/tirade to go on.  Where shall we begin?  I guess it started in college when I was assigned to read Beloved twice and Paradise once, never finishing either novel I developed a lively, silent rage against Mrs. Morrison.  With her fragmented, shattered style I reached new heights of perspicacity, clearly here was the most profound example of a living writer who, having only written a handful of novels, is elevated to the status of Matriarch, Saint, no, what I really mean is that she is the Alpha and Omega of Literature and she reigns supreme in the world today, according to some people.  Sorry I digress, what I am trying to say is that I firmly believe Mrs. Morrison will fade very quickly after her death and that her writing isn’t, you know, worth the paper it is printed upon. Mrs. Morrison is the ultimate example of a writer who is famous during their lifetime and then vanishes reaching their terminus. Same with Stephen King, but that is old news.

So I am in Borders today and I flip through The New Yorker to find John Updike’s glowing, bloated review of ‘A Mercy’, the newest novel from the esteemed Toni Morrison.  Is he afraid of saying a bad word about the author? I’m not afraid.  Mrs. Morrison’s diction/syntax is for the birds.  Who does she think she is Tolstoy? Even he didn’t write with such mock arrogance as this woman does.  To put it plainly I can’t stand Morrison’s style, and style is still the thing you know, not to mention her utter lack of being able to put together a coherent, linear narrative. Please attempt to read The Bluest Eye with a straight face. Updike handles his reading of Morrison like a third-grader. She has an epic sense of time blah, blah, blah. Where is the criticism? Oh wait I have already answered that question. It is because of the deification of Mrs. Morrison that she is shielded from any criticism. I try not to pay any mind to the phenom but sometimes one just can’t control what one is writing. So please don’t take offense at this little blurb, I’m sure you have something better to do than leave me a nasty message.

Here is the link to the article, read for yourself the half-assed way in which Updike handles ‘The Critics’ section of The New Yorker.


In the years to come we shall see how Time handles the effluence of Toni Morrison.

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