Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Genius Writers

One reason why I got heavily into reading was the experience of encountering minds much more intelligent than my own. Like the Brain Booster in the movie "Forbidden Planet," reading one of the great novels, "War and Peace" or "Brothers" or "Vicomte De Braggelone," increases your I.Q. by a level of points.

I was thinking about that while reading one of Asimov's great "Foundation" books. As I consider doing a few more ebooks, the prospect of writing a sci-fi novel is in front of me, given the genre's popularity. I decided to read more from one of the very best creators of that genre. Asimov is that.

The layers of mental tricks and battles being displayed by his characters is impressive.

Who are other genius American writers from now or the past? David Foster Wallace has been portrayed as one. Was he really? What is there to learn from him? Wasn't his obsession with consciousness and self a waste of brain power?

On any list of brainiest American novelists I'd put Scott Fitzgerald, Ayn Rand, Cozzens, Melville, Asimov, a very few others. Those whose understanding of the complexities of society, people, and the world is something to learn from.


  1. Your comments regarding Ayn Rand are fair-minded and always interesting, but I won't comment here as I concern myself primarily with her philosophy of art. Readers may want to know of these two worthy books: 'Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion' and 'The Fountainhead: An American Novel' (Twayne's Masterwork Studies)

    (Regarding the All-Time American Writer tournament, see my suggestion in the comments section of the "Radical Idea" post -- June 22.)

    Louis Torres
    Co-Editor, Aristos (An Online Review of the Arts)

  2. Thanks much for the info, and also for nominating Jack Schaefer. (I've read the book. I love the movie-- and consider Alan Ladd an underrated actor. His line readings in the film, with his terrific voice, were low-key but filled with edge, threat, and hidden emotion.)
    I'll look into Schaefer's other books. Keep in mind that only a few slots are left for what from the first was a crowded field.