Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Short views

Philip Roth says his work in progress is as relatively short as his latest work not in progress Everyman. In the same interview he says the latter was inspired by Saul Bellow's funeral. Coincidentally or not, around the age as Roth is now (73) Bellow published two novellas - A Theft and The Bellarosa Connection.

Elsewhere, I'm reminded that The Litblog Co-op has also recently been discussing issues of novel length. I'm all for shorter novels. Bellow himself referred at the time of his novellas to the "congestion of modern consciousness" and his own preference for taking, by way of Sydney Smith, short views. I think this should be encouraged. Indeed, some writers should not only write less but not write another word, while others should actually unwrite their novels.

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