No response from James Wood to the ULA-style rockets lobbed in his direction with this blog's review of his book. He remains hunkered down in shelter.
Of course, as a Protector of Literature, Wood isn't allowed to break down the wall surrounding his kind to respond. To do so would be to break the rules of the literary club. His membership card and entrance pass would be taken from him.
In truth, I went easy on him. I focused on his supposed strength-- religion-- when I examined his review of writer J.F. Powers. In so doing, I quickly realized James Wood is a fraud.
I've yet to address Powers's most renowned story. Wood says there's no spirituality in J.F. Powers's work. Yet when one realizes the indirect influence of Buddhism on Powers, everything falls into place. There's no spirituality in Powers, Wood claims-- yet "Lions, Harts, Leaping Does" is one of the most spiritual stories ever written.
Wood missed this because he's purely a mechanistic writer-- like so many, a manufactured product; a robot. Trained to view writing not as a living thing which vibrates, alive; with a soul (in Frank Walsh's words, "with music"), Wood sees literature only as a crafted object; words sanded smooth then pounded together with a hammer.
Wood the supposed expert on Christianity missed that the religion at its core is a layer of Buddhism atop the foundation of the Old Testament, with a smattering of Greek mystery cultism thrown in. A pacifist who (like Kenneth Rexroth) was a Conscientious Objector during World War II, J.F. Powers saw in his religion mainly the Buddhist part of it. This is reflected in his writings.
J.F. Powers was one of the best American story writers-- yet I can't find a book of his in any monopoly chain store. (There are, however, thousands of ridiculous preppy "Chick Lit" novels, and other junk, cramming the shelves.) The tragedy of literature now.