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Thursday, March 25, 2021

What Literary Writers Read

Literary writers often feel a certain ambivalence toward the pulp writing that amused them in childhood, alternating between appreciation for its entertainment value and revulsion for its lack of depth. Even within the constraints of genre fiction composed by talented writers one can occasionally find interesting ideas, memorable instances of characterization, and scenes that are moving. Certainly one often finds the virtues of plot and suspense. I've not forgotten that a sometimes scathing literary critic like John Gardner found, as a young man, something to praise in the novels of Mickey Spillane.

Charles Johnson, The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling, 2016

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