Clancy isn’t boring enough to be “literature.” Although “The Bear and the Dragon” came close.
Really. The only good (entertaining) story I recall from lit was “The Most Dangerous Game.” The people writing the Lit books even managed to find a boring and unfunny story by James Thurber - a real achievement.
And I like to read! (I’m the only student in history that used to get notes sent home with him from school: “We caught Ray reading in class. Again.”)
I read what I want to read,something that either entertains me or informs me. I could care less if it’s considered good literature. I hated “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”,which received raves.
I am proud to say I have never read an Oprah Book Club book.
Tom Clancy writes books people like to read——who cares what his writing is called?
Unlike this writer,I loved “Bonfire of the Vanities”.
Is not the “Modern Language Association” the purveyer of wording and illogic so complete that it defines why no one respects the liberal arts any longer?
Would not the writer of this “critique” most probably be a member of this joke of an organization?
For fun, use Google to find the article written by a physicist and submitted to these stooges to see if they’d see through the bull-Obama.
Of course, they didn’t. After all, were they to have talent, they’d not be members of the Modern Language Association.
Kingsley Amis - “All Literature is escapist”
What is “paplum”?
What is “paplum”?
H.S. junior-year English was chock full of insufferable British lit. The only novel I managed to complete was “Watership Down.” I had to rely on Cliff Notes for “Jane Eyre,” “Great Expectations,” and other unmemorable “classics” of the English language.
For my personal reading, I was in my sci-fi phase: Asimov and Clarke.
“Thus Bonfire is literature where Red October is judged worthless because the values in the two books are virtual mirror images: the commercial junk builds involvement in the lives of achievers working through a specific event within a framework defined by personal commitment to truth, honor, and country where the Classic American Novel endlessly revalues the pointlessness of a life isolated from reality by a kind of post stalinist consumer euphoria”
That's almost as good as “...the angst of modern man finding himself adrift in a world of discontinuity of reality cast against the backdrop of......” yada yada.
Almost as good but just as pretentious nonsense.
How about bad spelling?
More seriously, defining a piece of writing as "literature" is a subjective exercise among people who generally graduate from the same schools, live in the same neighborhoods (Manhattan West Side for example), attend the same parties, vote for the same candidates, and all nod to each other in smug agreement that the rest of us are knuckle dragging morons. They are the type of people for whom in another age the guillotine was invented.
Clancy books are plot-driven and sacrifice the “literary” to whatever serves the plot. They can’t move slowly. They have to keep up the pace or people will lose interest.
They do this very well, in my opinion. They are pretty much all that you want them to be. For their military accuracy alone they would be worth the price, even if they weren’t a darn good read.
These are the kinds of books that often become treasured literature in the future, long after their commercial success is over—classics of a genre, although Clancy is one of a kind, practically a one-man genre.
They have always been utter crap.
During his lifetime Poet Robert Services poetry was considers sludge for the masses (though he was popular at literati parties in France) yet today he is recognized as one of the great lights of the Dawn of the twentieth century.
What makes something literature is not an anointing from self important university chairs. It is continued popularity over time in a way that recognizes the work as defining an era.
Academic egos notwithstanding.
Well, on the one hand, most of the “literary” writers since the 1940s are pretty much worthless, I would agree with that.
On the other hand, Tom Clancy may be fun to read, but he is not a great novelist, either. No real depth to it.
There haven’t been very many truly great novels written since the Second World War. I’d include Evelyn Waugh among the few great writers. He started a bit earlier, but the Sword of Honour trilogy is up to his best, although less well known than Brideshead Revisited and the earlier novels.
Flannery O’Connor is another undeniably great writer, and even the academics are forced to admit it.
Another great novel, or trilogy, is Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The academics hate that one, because it’s so politically incorrect, but they have found it difficult to stop people from reading and admiring it.
I would tend to agree that some of the best novels since the 1940s have been genre novels—science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries. The novel became “realistic” in the nineteenth century, but that left out a lot of things that were in great literature of earlier periods—the Odyssey and the Divine Comedy, for instance. Those gentre novels profit by admitting things that the “realistic” or purely materialistic novelists refuse to admit, and they gain by it. Not all SF is great, but some of it is.
I can name one Faulkner book and that is enough for me. Read, “The Sound and the Fury” and you will not only realize that the teacher that assigned it and glowed about it knows nothing, but they also have some serious problems.
Just read the first part of the book and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Ghastly.
I’d rather read every Clancy book than Faulkner’s POS again.
In case you missed my message, it’s a horrible book horribly written.
Unfortunately, starting in the 1950's, the publisher decided to update the series by dumbing the stories down, removing difficult or archaic vocabulary words and phrases and making them politically correct. I started to read the newer version of The Hidden Staircase (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1987), but put it down after reading only a few pages. The original was far more interesting.
The same thing happened with the Hardy Boys series, published by the same company. If you desire to read a Hardy Boys book, or want to get one into the hands of a young reader, search the used book stores, the Worldcat library database or the Internet for books published before 1959.
Red Storm Rising was a very good depiction of NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in the mid-1980s, the defense postures and how a war might start and be fought. It is well worth reading for this. And it is a good story.
Comments indeed! Tom Wolfe, Allen Drury way ahead of Clancy. Btw—Willa Cather was never included in any feminist canons, and Margaret Atwood (whose Handmaiden’s Tale was misread initially by feminists) dropped off immediately after revealing herself as religious. .
Tom Clancy doesn’t write literature, he writes prophecy.
There weren't many Southern Republicans around when Faulkner was writing in the days when FDR won 98% of the vote in South Carolina. This guy is way behind the curve, but if there's still some cartoonish old image of the South in the Northern urban mind nowadays, I suspect Erskine Caldwell, Tennessee Williams, Walker Evans, Al Capp, and newspaper stories themselves have had more to do with it than William Faulkner.
Bonfire of the Vanities? Tom Wolfe is as close to a conservative as any well-known, half-way-respected novelist writing today is. I doubt he's "foundational" for any kind of liberal thinking. Liberal or left writers hate and abuse Wolfe. Read the attacks on A Man in Full from John Updike, John Irving, and Norman Mailer. Why does this idiot-moron think Tom Wolfe is some example of liberal thinking or academically-respected literature?
“The Life of Pi” was a very entertaining book with an uplifting moral. Listen to the audio version.