Originally Posted by TGS
Perhaps I should give Bolaņo another try - I expected to like him, perhaps my head was just not in the right place.
Perhaps you should... (do you like Latin American novels?) Or perhaps you shouldn't.
When talking about "literary literature," it seems that certain writers become an obligation, a chore. Doesn't it happen to you sometimes? You read an important book, don't enjoy it, and feel like it's somewhat your fault? One of my pet peeves is being told "Oh, you have to understand it," after admitting I don't like certain book or movie. Of course. But in the imaginary world of fiction we understand because we enjoy, not the opposite.
By the way, I dislike Bloom partly because of this reason. He once said or wrote that Borges had a very poor taste. Of course, Borges' opinions were very eccentric; I disagree with him more times than not. But those weird opinions were an integral part of his world view. Without them, it wouldn't have been possible for him to write such unique and wonderful works. Bloom is like the police of good taste, always saying you have to like this or that, and I see those mandates as an attack against our personal creativity.
Sorry, I am just rambling on. I should definitely sleep more. Anyway, nothing wrong if you don't like Bolaņo.
Originally Posted by FlorenceArt
Never heard of Bernand Cornwell, i'll have to check him out...
Bernard Cornwell is a very good storyteller and his prose is quite effective, so I think his books do have some literary merit, but he is not what I would call a literary writer. I don't think he is the kind of writer you were thinking about when you opened this thread. He writes mostly epic fantasy and historical fiction. I just mentioned him as an example of what I am more likely to read these days of sleep deprivation: genre writers who know how to write.
It's interesting that the three of us had similar reactions with Blood Meridian