I did a tenure evaluation once. The person's work looked solid from the outside, but it was a marginal case. The tone was very ponderous, as though the person had great and important, ground-breaking things to say, but you kept reading it and it never got to the point. There was no there there. Quantitatively, it satisfied requirements for promotion, but there was just nothing there as far as I was concerned.
Here's the problem, though. Maybe it was good and I just wasn't seeing it. It could be that I am so far away from what other people are interested in that I have some giant blind spots. Not spots, really, but whole territories.
I'm reading The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty. It is way below the level of anything I would normally read. It's got the cardboard characters, the clichéd dialogue, all that stuff. The device for creating suspense is childishly simplistic. Just open the damned letter already, lady! Even the attempts at good writing are overdone, like the" two fat tears making snail paths down her aunt's pink, powdery cheek." The startling thing is not that this kind of thing exists, but that it is popular. It even has a reader's guide at the end, for the book clubs, as though anything in the book were not transparently available to be seen.
I'm doing it in order to do something unusual, beyond my comfort zone. Everyone should do this kind of thing once in a while, whatever it is.
Post a Comment