Just the briefest of check-ins here, but Degrees took a semi-sudden turn to the sad-maybe-tragic before it ended, and also left at least a couple of questions, whether minor (re: Bailly and Claire) or major (re: the recovery or not of Vernier), unresolved. I love it; it love it all.
The following little suspicion is nothing new, but Butor’s novel has helped to keep it alive– namely, that students and instructors in creative writing classes give me the stink eye not because 1) I’m just a bad writer, but rather, because 2) my preference for (semi-)contemporary European literature places me outside the bounds of the styles and methods and expectations they’re used to, hence making me and my work look completely crazy. I’ve found, for example, that these inveterate workshoppers feel uncomfortable if identities and situations aren’t made clear pretty much from the moment they’re introduced, and that settings and individuals must, must, must be described down to the most microcosmic detail, essentially leaving nothing to the reader’s imagination or agency, really. I mean, I’m all for vivid descriptions, but how about letting the reader make the text at least partially his or her own?
Well. That’s about as much as I can engage at present in airing my differences with others’ writing practice– and besides, I just want to dwell a bit longer in the residual atmosphere of Degrees. Butor’s definitely an author I’ll be checking out again in the future.