Dubious New Books

Mark Z. Danielewski and Thomas Pynchon have new books out. I don’t know how I feel about these authors. I’ve never read Pynchon, but I understand that his books are spectacularly dense. I read the review in Time magazine, and it looks like this new book is no exception. I did attempt to read Danielewski’s House of Leaves, and only made it about halfway through before I gave up.

While I appreciate that Danielewski took the suggestions and ideas of his readers into account, books like these make me wonder if it matters that you’re a brilliant writer if most people can’t understand your work and the ones that do understand it only understand it after long study.

It’s kind of a classic, unsolvable struggle, the way I see it. On the one hand, writers should write the books they want to write. But on the other hand, you have to please the readers.

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