Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seriousness in Fiction

"When we speak of "seriousness" in fiction ultimately we are talking abut an attitude toward death–how characters may act in its presence, for example, or how they handle it when it isn't so immediate. Everybody knows this, but the subject is hardly ever brought up with younger writers, possibly because given to anyone at the appropriate age, such advice is widely felt to be effort wasted."

- Thomas Pynchon, from his introduction to Slow Learner


Joel said...

I'm not sure I've ever actually spoken of "seriousness" in fiction.

gibsonmeigs said...

And why haven't you, you philistine!

If memory serves, TRP is addressing the professional critics with this statement. I still find the statement interesting because, in general, I've found that people thoughts become more interesting when they start to acknowledge their own mortality.