Sunday, May 28, 2006

One Last Thing (I Promise) About That Times Poll

While I was gone, the New York Times continued the endless chasing of its own tail with a roundtable about its own survey of the best American fiction of the past 25 years. The thing seems to run for about 540 pages, so I'm waiting to print the whole thing out at work later this week, but I did glance at a few of the opinions on display, and I love the following insight from Michael Cunningham:
I suspect it's true, too, that novelists -— this novelist, anyway -— are suckers for sentences in ways critics may not be. For me, it gets down to an almost embarrassingly simple, quotidian fact -— I know how hard it is to write even one good sentence. Show me a book full of them, and I'm ready to forgive all kinds of lapses in narrative method, consistency of theme and character, and etc.


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