I suffer from a malady that could best be described as big-tentism or maybe as omni-sympathetica. I find it easy both to be captured by narratives of many different types and to be hyper-critical of narratives of many different types. On the one hand this is a good thing: I like to read everything from formulaic genre novels to the densest literary fiction to the most experimental fiction. I am easily drawn in to the narrative flow and only egregious lack of craftsmanship is liable to knock me out of it. All that gives me a certain breadth and facility as a reader, a writer and a critic.
The downside, of course, is that it means that almost every read for me is a burst of narrative payoff that then quickly mellows in to mixed success. It also that means that, although I try my best to evaluate stories in relation to their genres and individual goals, as an editor and critic I do have a tendency to want to nudge works in to this preferred nexus of mine of genre, literary and experimental.
So that’s sort of a weird preface to this next part, but I wanted to establish my personal psycho-critical space that informs how I react to the following thoughts from Rick Moody (found in this excellent interview — the whole thing is worth reading or viewing at Big Think): Continue reading “Rick Moody on knowing where the payoff is going to be”