Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Which Story Is Better?


Currently New Pop Lit has a Reading Challenge! ongoing-- an opportunity to read two recent short stories and compare them in a brief (25 to 500 words) review that would be posted within days at the New Pop Lit NEWS blog.

Who's game? Anyone?

(So far we've had two comparisons offered, here and here.)


For me, George Saunders has always been a puzzling writer-- though I suppose it's not puzzling why he's widely published and lauded.

Saunders turns standard populist writing practice on its head. At one time, authors (and more, moviemakers) would offer a romanticized depiction of actual life, as both incentive and escape for the intended audience: the masses, including those struggling.

George Saunders offers a wildly exaggerated version of reality-- exaggerated in the other direction, depicting lower class life as grotesque, deformed, and diseased. We can't be sure of the intended audience-- but we do know his actual audience, which isn't the masses, but instead, those who are well-educated and affluent. Those who read The New Yorker magazine, for instance.

Which I guess means Saunders' work isn't in any way populist.


If you can, read and compare the two stories!

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