Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cozzens Quote

Here’s a quote from the notebooks of James Gould Cozzens, overlooked American novelist, which could apply to today’s postmodernists. The quote dates from 1961/62.

“In practice certain obscurities of style, though they may repel many readers, can and do serve the reputation of several authors very well. They make certain that no one is going to see right away how banal the material is, or how childish or second rate the thinking. And this is not the end. Hardly anyone who has put himself to the long trouble of guessing meanings so hard to get at is going to admit that the findings weren’t worth the work—or bluntly, he has let himself be made a fool of. He will in nine cases out of ten save face by being next to the author himself in claiming this work is of Profound Significance.” 

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