sympathy for the devil

No, wait... for Dan Brown... by the way most people talk it's hard to tell them apart. Yeesh. Thank you, Jean Hannah Edelstein:

But what swayed my view even more than these economic arguments was in fact, the poignant revelation that Brown shared a creative writing class at Amherst – one of the US's finest small liberal arts colleges – with David Foster Wallace. No one, I am certain, takes a creative writing course with the aim of writing over-wrought, long-winded, critically-reviled thrillers. You take a creative writing course because you want to be a good writer; because you go back to your dorm room and read the great books on your English Lit course syllabus (or your genius classmate David's coursework) and regard the Pulitzer prize shortlist and think, "One day, that could be me." And then you sit down to write with all the best of intentions, and all that comes out is "The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms."...

I would thus be willing to wager all of the income I have ever made from writing fiction (nothing, but the sentiment is there) that sometimes, even as he wallows in his piles of money, Dan Brown wonders why he'll never be able to write exactly as well as he wishes he could; why while being one of the world's most financially successful writers, literary acclaim eludes him; why no one ever says, "actually, there's a sentence on page 344 when Langdon says something rather profound and eloquent". Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we just cannot help the way that we write, and sometimes, it is just a bit crap.

Read the whole thing here.

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