Monthly Archives January 2007

“Fail Better”: Zadie Smith on writing novels

The Guardian has published an insightful article by Zadie Smith on the art of “failing” to write great novels, and what it takes to write “truthful” fiction. One of the things I like about the piece is that it underscores the (for me, long-wished-for) death of “Theory”–particularly the peculiar lit crit theory that there is no such thing as Authors, only Text. Even the venerable T.S.Eliot contributed to this notion for reasons, as Smith points out, had as much to do with a desire to maintain his own privacy as it did to ensure the purity of literary art. Smith
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