Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Guest Who Can't Outstay His Welcome

Andrew Sullivan is on a break, and so his blog is being kept up by Walter Kirn and Michelle Cottle. I'm not overly familiar with Cottle's work, though I've read her in The New Republic, and I don't mean to snub her by focusing on Kirn, but he's one of my favorite writers. Read this post for proof.
But long stories in prose have become confused with books, which is like confusing music with CDs or art with galleries. Books are merely shipping containers for stories. Unfortunately, the stories designed to fit in books are becoming, it seems to me, more and more like iceberg lettuce -- genetically manipulated to travel well and not to rot, turn colors or change in taste (which motivates growers to first remove their taste) during the roughly year-long interval between being finished and landing in the store. To switch images, such stories are studio albums, not concert recordings. Poses, not performances.


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