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Old August 31 2012, 11:54 PM   #42
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Re: Literate Trek Novels

I was reading Brian W. Aldiss's Trillion Year Spree last night, and he cited a 1966 review of Bram Stoker's novels which seem vaguely relevant to this conversation:

The trouble, it is usually said, is that whatever his gifts as an inventor of spine-chilling situations, he does not "write well". The phrase is used, generally, as though its meaning were self-evident. But any such assumption would be optimistic. It is a sign, perhaps, as much as anything, that we remain slaves of the intentional fallacy in literature, pathetically ready to accept writers according to their ambitions rather than their achievements. We will suppose, for instance, that George Moore must in some mysterious way be a better writer than Bram Stoker, even if Stoker is still read and Moore on the whole is not, because Moore spent a lot of time and energy carrying out on about his dedication to high art while Stoker churned out bestsellers in the spare moments of an otherwise busy life. Moore, in his later books, writes with extreme care and self-conscious artistry, but the result is unreadable; Stoker, whatever else may be said of him, is still intensely readable. So which, in the final analysis, writes better?
"I don't like adventure. I'm a stay-at-home-and-read kind of guy."
Science's Less Accurate Grandmother
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