Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Style/Content

Happened upon The Complete-Review's review of The Sea today. It's an enthusiastic review, so I don't want to complain too much, but towards the end there's this:
Banville's use of language -- the reader is immediately confronted with: "that vast bowl of water bulging like a blister, lead-blue and malignantly agleam", and Banville continues in this vein -- is almost distracting (at least on a first reading), style threatening to overwhelm story. [emphasis added]

Elsewhere, Brendan Wolfe, in response to an article about "good bad books" made into movies asks,
It seems strange to fault a book that “achieves a surprisingly exhilarating effect” for “flaws of style and construction.” Assuming that no novel is perfect, aren’t a book’s style and construction in fact responsible for its exhilarating effect?

I would have thought so, yes.

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