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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Like many other things in that article, it directly contradicts what came before, and frames the whole thing, suddenly, as genre vs. non genre.

You obviously didn't like what I said and don't really want to talk about it, so I'm fine with leaving it as: texts can be read differently. Shockingly, a tenet of those evil, evil postmodern critics.

It's not about *liking* what you said versus *not liking* what you said. It's about being *baffled* by what you said, by in fact the way you and by the way almost everybody else here has taken this article.

I don't know if it is age factor ... the Internet and Neil Gaiman have always existed for you for example. But not for Grossman. (Or me.) While the literary arguments of the 80s were so long ago that you can say with a straight face that no such thing ever happened.

Or if it is something I've noticed a LOT with genre fiction folk - everyone in this community is SO darned touchy! Everything becomes about protecting the honor of Our Kind of Fiction ... which is a curious holdover from *being* the ghettoized literature it was for so many years IMHO.

Here is this man actually PRAISING you and writers like you. And clearly it's not getting across. I don't get it. I don't.

First of all, please do not make assumptions about my age. Gaiman and the internet--not actually interchangeable or the same age--have NOT always existed for me.

And what I am saying is that no one ever set out to be obscure or hurt poor little readers. That this straw man argument has been made since the 80s and before doesn't make it any less untrue. And I maintain that my work does not fall into his plot heavy rubric--but neither does Link's, which is why it's confusing. Especially since he lists her as one of those making novels exciting again. Link does not write novels. The article is full of factual errors--it baffles me that you can't see that.

And I'm saying, actually you're wrong.

There were at one time an entire (bullshit) school of thought which was about being obscure for obscurity's sake. That did not trust the reader At All. That was ENTIRELY style over content. In a way that, no, you're not.

It was popular in certain literary circles in the 80s. It was intensely annoying. Just because it does not hold true *now* doesn't mean it never existed.

(Also I, er, happen to know how old you are. We have a mutual friend IRL. Also saying that you are young is not a slam, simply a recognition that you could not know about things that you were not around for.)

If you know how old I am how can you possibly say the internet has been around forever for me?

And ok, let's play this game again. Give me an example of someone who writes to be obscure and no other reason, or a critic who claims obscurity and difficulty is the most important metric. I keep asking this question.

No one around at present and honestly nobody worth remembering. That's my point. That whole thing. It's over. Stick a fork in it. It's done. You can't even find it anymore. That's why even Grossman is using examples from the 20s and 30s ... I assume he thinks at that will be recognized.

Possibly, maybe, some early Toni Morrison might give you an idea of the style (The Bluest Eye, etc). Very Serious. Very Important. Very Much Like Doing Literary Sit-Ups. Not Much Plot to Speak Of. Lots of Subjective Language. (And by Beloved she's writing ghost stories anyway.)

And she's kind of a bad example because Morrison is actually quite good. Imagine a third rate version of The Bluest Eye. And then cry into your beer from the pain.

Look, clearly I have offended you by saying that you are not old enough to remember the early 80s. Is there a *less* offensive way to suggest that you might not remember something that you, um, might not remember?

I remember the 1980s. (I'm all of two and a half years younger than Grossman.)

Nothing you say has the ring of truth to it, and your inability to name even a single author -- hint, the Internet might have some information about the 1980s -- is proof enough to me that you just argued yourself into a corner and are trying to bluster your way out.

Nothing I say has the ring of truth in it. I am ring-less. Alas!

Obviously you are right. Just because I can't remember any authors that I read 25 yeasr ago and hated, Grossman must be a Bad Bad Man. He hates you all. For using adverbs.

Silly me!

Nah, it's because you didn't actually read any such authors.

Also if you note the adverb thing was linked to a different article entirely.

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