A little love for the less vaunted forms

What fun to encounter this, thanks to a tip from Diane T, in the Sunday NYT.  We might not get the six-figure advances, but those of us who practice the briefer (if that's a word) forms can now relax. A.O. Scott likes us; he really, really likes us!  Or at least the best, the icons, among us.

A particularly potent graf:

Reading through [Cheever, O'Connor, and Barthelme's] collected stories, you wonder if novels are even necessary. The imperial ambitions of a certain kind of swaggering, self-important American novel — to comprehend the totality of modern life, to limn the social, existential, sexual and political strivings of its citizens — start to seem misguided and buffoonish. More of life is glimpsed, and glimpsed more clearly, through Barthelme’s fragments, Cheever’s finely ground lenses or the pinhole camera of O’Connor’s crystalline prose.   [The full article is here.]

Ouch. But novelists, look at it this way.  You still get all the glory, film deals, money, and press coverage. Oh, and readership. You can give us the esteem of A.O. Scott, right?  (I kid you all. I love novels and am just jealous that I can't seem to write one.)

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