Monday, May 16, 2011

Play-In Matches

Some proposed matches between similar writers as a way to winnow down the pack:

-Katherine Anne Porter versus Flannery O'Connor.

-Thomas Wolfe versus Erskine Caldwell.

-Mickey Spillane versus James Ellroy.

Should any of these people make the cut? Which more stand out?


  1. No pairings here where I've read both sides. I was going to argue for Flannery O'Connor anyway, but, thinking about it, I'm not sure I want to. She puts her story in your head better than anybody. Maybe as a reader you want a writer who respects you to do a little more of the lifting. I do. But I still admire her ability. Here's my problem with her: In the end you get an ingenious miniature of a dark fantasy you could have had without reading anything. Anybody who hasn't read her, imagine getting shot in the woods with your granny and then read "A Good Man is Hard to Find." I don't mind being wrong, so don't think twice about saying it.

  2. For me, O'Connor too much plays the gothic/grotesque motif inherited from Faulkner. You know, the crazed religion-seeped character with missing teeth and brown-spittle chaw tobacco running down his mouth as he exclaims, "I got him behind the barn, Maw!"
    This is one play-in match anyway where I have a winner. Porter was a better, and more intelligent, writer. Her one novel, Ship of Fools, isn't at all bad.