TOUGH, SWEET AND STUFFY by Walker Gibson

TOUGH, SWEET AND STUFFY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Walker Gibson spent the best part of a sabbatical and Guggenheim on this casing of prevalent American prose styles. He finds that we are writing, variously, tough, sweet or stuffy, and ""all three of our styles are dangerous in modern prose, in ascending order of peril."" Tough I-talk, exemplified by Hemingway and glorified in Time thereafter, assumes an implied intimacy and is a highly personal style which in the hands of a newsman can exert formidable, possibly misplaced power. Sweet You-talk, assuming an explicit intimacy, is the province of Madison Avenue, and referred to here as AROMA--it definitely turns the author off, not on. Stuffy It-talk indicates a refusal to assume personal responsibility--it is the expression of the hollow men and when you look for the face behind the voice, nobody is there. Having faulted everyone, Mr. Walker tries to pick up the pieces with a list of writing rules that will hopefully add up to an effective mix. An analytical premise of interest to the workshop or professional writer.

Publisher: Indiana Univ. Press