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View Diary: Contemporary Fiction Views: A dispassionate view of too many deaths (10 comments)

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  •  First, thank you so much for the (5+ / 0-)

    compliments. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have such a close reader.

    I wonder if McCann, instead of or as well as, feeling the pressure, got carried away with developing that style the Guardian cites instead of storytelling. Also, I don't think it's possible to encapsulate anything about Ireland within the boundaries of one novel, so maybe he deliberately decided to give an overview rather than a penetrating look.

    •  Samuel Johnson said "Read over your compositions, (4+ / 0-)

      wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out."

      McCann may have been enchanted by his own charms. I guess we each need an Ezra Pound, to cut away our purple excesses. The great trick is to develop that voice internally.

      But McCann may have swooned a little over this whole project. From that same Guardian review:

      In 1845, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, born a slave and then still technically the chattel of a Maryland landowner, arrived in Ireland. He described his feelings in a stirring letter . . . It is obvious why this episode would appeal to Colum McCann, who left Dublin for New York aged 21 to write "the great Irish-American novel".

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:15:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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