Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Radical Idea

An All-American tournament? It's occurred to me that in this day, an all-American anything is a throwback, politically incorrect and unhip, not very cool. Especially in a refined, internationally-focused but at the same time homogenized literary world. Yet I believe we need to recapture the idea of a unique American literature, unique to America's land, people, culture. To present this thought is one of the objectives behind the "All-Time American Writer Tournament." In what way do the bracketed writers represent the authentic American voice? In their entirety, how well do they represent America's size and scope, its large appealing sound so much unlike any before heard? The tournament starts with the premise that, despite its flaws, this is a truly great country-- great in every aspect of the word.

1 comment:

  1. If it is not too late, I nominate Jack Schaefer as worthy of being included in the All-Time American Writer Tournament. Jack who? Anyone who does not recognize his name or is not familiar with the wider body of his work--he wrote 'Shane' (1949)--may want to read brief excerpts from my 1996 essay "Jack Schaefer: Teller of Tales" (see "A new critical perspective" on the Schaefer page I founded and edit). I argue there that he was no mere "Western" writer, but one of America's very best writers of serious fiction.

    By the end of this summer (I hope), the Schaefer page will have undergone a major update in a brand new format. It will include "Teller of Tales."

    (Anyone who wishes to have a print copy of this two-part essay for just $2 to cover postage and a large envelope, or who wants to be informed regarding the updated page, should contact me.)

    Louis Torres
    Editor, Jack Schaefer page