Monday, June 11, 2012

Exteriority or Interiority

There’s a marked divide in mindset between populist writing and the elite “literary” variety—a divide in viewpoint. The literary writer—David Foster Wallace being the classic example and furthest expression of the type—is focused on the interior of his own brain; on his second-by-second thoughts and feelings. The reader is given these often trivial thoughts, in relentless fashion. The view of the populist writer by contrast is outward, toward the things of the world. The populist view shows a curiosity about the world and how that world operates, including curiosity about the variety of people who inhabit the world. The greatest novelists held the exterior view.

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