Thursday, January 26, 2006

Difference between television mogul and novelist

I caught that bit on Angela Carter's fairy tale on my way to read a review in the TLS of Rick Moody's latest bit of fiction, The Diviners. That's where I was going. But these detours are one of the pleasures still of holding a paper in my hand. Your eye catches unexpected treasures on the way to your destination.

Moody's perceptive essay last year in the Atlantic Monthly on the problems of teaching fiction in this country so resonated with many of my disappointments of the Hopkins' Masters of Writing program that anything Moody writes is now of keen interest to me (well, until Angela Carter's fairy tales get in the way).

So I finally made it to my original destination today - the review was favorable. If anything, the reviewer thought the language too precious - which is not an element of fiction that bothers me. There was this enjoyable bit: "...language is Moody's forte: the difference between a television mogul and a well-regarded novelist is that the former can use the words 'news-related mythologies' without thinking; while the latter can't use them without laughing." I've been loathing television news reporters lately and their ez passes on the government and the inept way the frame the issues, and escaping into novels where I find myself much more at home. I prefer to laugh than cry.

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