Welcome Literary Blog Hoppers! The Literary Blog Hop is hosted each week by the fine folks at The Blue Bookcase. This week's question is...
This was an easy question for me, because there is only one thing that writers do that really makes me crazy-that is, other than bad writing. But assuming for the moment that we are only talking about authors with the actual capacity to write well, I hate hate triple hate stream-of-consciousness narrative. Not because it is difficult to understand (though sometimes it is)-I enjoy the mental gymnastics. But because most of the time it comes off as vainglorious, narcissistic craziness!
Well, let me soften that a bit. There are novels that use stream-of-consciousness as ONE of the techniques in the narrative structure, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Wide Sargasso Sea. What really frosts my buns is being subjected to the rambling thoughts of character's (read: author's) inner monologue, as though every single thought that enters their head is a pearl to be thrown before the swine.
I also gave the old college try to Fight Club. Apparently stream-of-consciousness makes an excellent movie and a crappy book. (Yes, I know, Fight Club is beloved by many. Yes, I know it makes a profound statement about what it means to be a man in a post-feminist world. Before you write me a nasty-gram about the genius of that book, please remember I said I LIKED the movie version. I just don't want to read it!)
My experience with Joyce is why I will never read Gravity's Rainbow, On the Road, or Naked Lunch. I'm sure that I will miss out on some wonderfully wise commentary on the human condition-and I'm equally sure I don't care!