10-24-2006 07:11 PM
"I salute the National Book Foundation Board, who took a huge risk in giving this award to a man many people see as a rich hack. For far too long the so-called popular writers of this country and the so-called literary writers have stared at each other with animosity and a willful lack of understanding. This is the way it has always been. Witness my childish resentment of anyone who ever got a Guggenheim.
"But giving an award like this to a guy like me suggests that in the future things don't have to be the way they've always been. Bridges can be built between the so-called popular fiction and the so-called literary fiction. The first gainers in such a widening of interest would be the readers, of course, which is us because writers are almost always readers and listeners first. You have been very good and patient listeners and I'm going to let you go soon but I'd like to say one more thing before I do.
"Tokenism is not allowed. You can't sit back, give a self satisfied sigh and say, 'Ah, that takes care of the troublesome pop lit question. In another twenty years or perhaps thirty, we'll give this award to another writer who sells enough books to make the best seller lists.' It's not good enough. Nor do I have any patience with or use for those who make a point of pride in saying they've never read anything by John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Mary Higgins Clark or any other popular writer."
Do you think the gap between the treatment of "popular" fiction and "literary" fiction is as dramatic as King makes it out to be hear? Do you think that this is changing, or will change? Who are the "popular" writers you believe should earn more critical respect?
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11-27-2006 10:18 AM
11-28-2006 08:20 PM
11-29-2006 06:54 PM
Well put! It's amazing to think that King isn't more highly regarded - it is so obvious that he's not a hack, once you've seen his craft. I do know that one of the things that keeps him from being used in the classroom is his language. I wonder how much that and the horror genre have held him apart also.
11-29-2006 11:32 PM
11-30-2006 10:05 AM
02-02-2007 08:31 PM
I deal with this all the time as I work in the legal field and you should see the looks I get when I walk in toting my horror and fantasy novels! I even discussed them in an interview once when someone made the mistake of asking me about my hobbies and then felt the need to ask me what I read. I got the job, but was also immediately told not to mention it in my next interview with the DVP
02-05-2007 05:56 PM
I see nothing wrong with stating in an int4erview that you read Stephen King! I think that while King is often referred to as a writer for the masses, the reasons you stated are the facts - he's interesting and timely (much like Dickens was in his time) and his writing is certainly excellent. Personally, I think people are jealous that they don't have his imagination. Or perhaps, his nightmares.
08-02-2007 05:16 AM
This is what I think as well. SK is one of the best modern authors ever. He has shown that he is not limited to horror stories. He can pretty much write about anything he wants to. He's not limited like so any other authors are. It's much easier to write a scathing review or critique than it is to write a good book.
09-27-2007 12:46 AM
Many of the creative writing classes I took were simply awful. People stiffled each others creativity, themes were dark and boring, and it seemed to me that some people enjoy the opportunity to criticize other people's work so they could tear it down under the pretext of being honest.
Stephen King is a great writer. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing any of my creative writing teachers' names on a published book. Not even on the 50 cent sale bin at Half Price Books.
Long live the King.