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From Gardner's last interview

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  • Mark Brawner
    Stanton: Yes ... Well, actually, why don t we talk about that first. How do you feel that On Moral Fiction has affected you? Gardner: Well, it s true that ...
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 12, 2000
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      Stanton: Yes ... Well, actually, why don't we talk about that first. How do
      you feel that On Moral Fiction has affected you?

      Gardner: Well, it's true that ... a very large proportion of the hostile,
      and really sometimes vituperative, reviews I've gotten on Mickelsson's
      Ghosts begin beating on On Moral Fiction, whamming at it.

      And there's no doubt that I offended a great many people with that book. I
      think I offended academics who devoted their careers and bet their lives on
      metafiction, say, or certain writers whom I would not primarily approve. I
      think a lot of academics have the feeling � conscious or unconscious � that,
      if I'm right, they're in Dutch; and so it's very important to them that I
      not be right.

      Also, there are a great many people who really love those writers that I
      find trivial; and I hurt their feelings. Like, if you're eagerly waiting for
      the next novel of John Barth, and you love everything he does, and you think
      he's hilariously funny and interesting and smart, and he's the person you'd
      most like to take a book of to a desert island, then you're going to be
      cross when I say that what he's doing is far from central.

      http://www.sunygenesee.cc.ny.us/Gardner/stanton.htm
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    • Mal McCormack
      ... you think ... person you d ... to be ... Ok. So he wasn t a great Barth fan, but we know most aren t. Sounds like quite a character, though. He must
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 18, 2000
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        --- In johnbarth@egroups.com, "Mark Brawner" <mark_brawner@h...>
        wrote:
        >Like, if you're eagerly waiting for
        > the next novel of John Barth, and you love everything he does, and
        you think
        > he's hilariously funny and interesting and smart, and he's the
        person you'd
        > most like to take a book of to a desert island, then you're going
        to be
        > cross when I say that what he's doing is far from central.
        >
        > http://www.sunygenesee.cc.ny.us/Gardner/stanton.htm


        Ok. So he wasn't a great Barth fan, but we know most aren't. Sounds
        like quite a character, though. He must have made a fair few enemies
        in his time (that's one of my criteria for achieving a worthwhile
        life).
      • scott wilkerson
        Mal, That s an excellent point. We Barth guys are perhaps too quick to condemn Gardner for dissing our genius when it very clear Gardner had a brilliantly
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 19, 2000
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          Mal,

          That's an excellent point. We Barth guys are perhaps
          too quick to condemn Gardner for dissing our genius
          when it very clear Gardner had a brilliantly
          aritculted program and applied to his writing and, one
          expects, to his life as well. Moreover, Nickel
          Mountain is a great novel...and curiously, he deploys
          many meta-fictional devices in this narrative without
          a suggestion of hesistation. One imagines he mioght
          have disliked Barth because his own experiments were
          less well recognized and certainly less widely
          appreciated. But envy is good, particlulraly when the
          object the envy is a Barth novel, or in this case, a
          Barthian stratagem. But you don't have to read deeply
          into Gardner to find these self-conscious inflections:
          the entire premise of Grendel is a meta-fictional
          foray into parallel, alternative history, to say
          nothing of Grendel's highly self-conscious voice.
          Great posting Mal!

          --- Mal McCormack <annemac@...> wrote:
          > --- In johnbarth@egroups.com, "Mark Brawner"
          > <mark_brawner@h...>
          > wrote:
          > >Like, if you're eagerly waiting for
          > > the next novel of John Barth, and you love
          > everything he does, and
          > you think
          > > he's hilariously funny and interesting and smart,
          > and he's the
          > person you'd
          > > most like to take a book of to a desert island,
          > then you're going
          > to be
          > > cross when I say that what he's doing is far from
          > central.
          > >
          > >
          > http://www.sunygenesee.cc.ny.us/Gardner/stanton.htm
          >
          >
          > Ok. So he wasn't a great Barth fan, but we know
          > most aren't. Sounds
          > like quite a character, though. He must have made a
          > fair few enemies
          > in his time (that's one of my criteria for achieving
          > a worthwhile
          > life).
          >
          >


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