THE LONELY VOICE by Frank O'Connor


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No one can doubt that Frank O'Connor is a first rate story-teller; as a first rate critic, however, a few might wonder. Anatomizing the short story, he's crotchety, vivid, candid and of course, charming; he's also wallopingly wrong headed (interpretations of Tickets Please and Macomber), inconclusively tantalizing (Lawrence's unnatural triangle as homosexually based), dogmatic (Maupassant's sexual inspiration degenerating into sexual ambivalence) and hard-hard-hard (our skillful stylists, self-conscious modernists have, paradoxically or not, all but silenced the individual narrator's lonely voice, what with Joyce's incantatory irony, Mansfield's vaporous structures, Hemingway's overdeveloped technique/undrdeveloped situation, Babel's dichotomy of Jewish intellectual and Soviet swashbuckler etc. etc. etc.). Yet if critic O'Connor is overly cantankerous, writer O'Connor knows why: ""Most of my stories have been rewritten a dozen times, a few of them fifty times"". Authors, back to the salt mines.

Publisher: World