Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tom Wolfe: Fiction today sucks

Noted author Tom Wolfe, on the state of fiction in an interview with Time Magazine:
"There's so little of it now that it's pathetic, and it's pathetic all over. Writers come from master of fine arts programs now. If you add up the college education of Steinbeck, Hemingway and Faulkner, you get to spring break of freshman year."
Harsh. Do you agree?

[Via Jacket Copy]


Joe said...

I wouldn't say it's the MFA programs' fault, but they are super popular, and everyone seems to be getting one, which in turn diminishes the value of the MFA. I have a writing teacher who blames the fact that no one seems to be reading anymore, which makes me think that the publishing industry's identity crisis is probably trickling down to the work being produced. I have no evidence to back any of this up, by the way.

king suckerman said...

I'd agree with that -- I think more people are concerned with being "writers" without realizing that the path to being a great writer is through reading a lot. The more you read, and the more varied your material is, the stronger you'll be when you put pen to paper. Of course, this is all said assuming you're dedicated and write often.

Anonymous said...

All Hollywood is concerned with is sex and violence, it doesn’t matter if there is a real storyline behind the movie only the number of nude scenes, explosions and total number of people killed. If you have enough of each you’ve got a hit and everyone in the movie are stars. I am a big fan of old movies and I mean from the late 30’s and 40’s. William Powell and Myrna Loy made the Thin Man and five sequels and never took their clothes off once. Katharine Hepburn made dozens of movies and I can’t remember her being nude in any of them: the closest that I can remember was in a movie with Spencer Tracy she was wrapped in a large towel. In the theater today perhaps one movie in fifty could stand on the storyline alone. I do not agree with the header, “Fiction Sucks”, most fiction would require at least a 50% improvement just to get to suck.