February 2, 2010

Adam Robinson Criticizes A Story of Mine

I've been meaning to post this and kept forgetting about it. My friend Adam Robinson, the publisher of Publishing Genius Press, expresses his many problems with a story of mine. He also talks about other stuff. I think it's funny he thinks I'm "sticking up" for something.

3 comments:

Ryan W. Bradley said...

i think it's awesome that you posted this :)

Laura Ellen Scott said...

I agree with Ryan--especially this week when so many need a perspective adjustment.

This is an interesting and painful critique, but Adam definitely took the story on different terms than I did. He was given the context, though, of talking about realism in fiction, which is a little like defining a negative.

I saw you writing in a classic mediating voice to critique epiphany, so I too read it as a writer, but with much more enjoyment, apparently.

This passage turns Flannery O'Connor inside out, for example:
"And then. And of course there was more. Why didn’t she say more? Do more? So polite in her nastiness. Why didn’t she say it all? Why didn’t she say I don’t like you because you’re ugly, because you’re not rich, because you’re average and fat and needy? Why couldn’t she have swung her handbag at Marjorie and whacked her across the face with it? Why were people so composed, even in their hatred and disgust?"

Did I hit the mark, or am I just dragging my own baggage into this?

pb said...

I wrote the story about ten years ago, a few days after running into a "friend" on the street. The run in had disturbed me--I realized she didn't like me at all--and so I wrote a story about it. It's also about loneliness and our desire to connect with people. It's about petty cruelty, in my mind a most underrated form of inflicting misery on others and powerful part of many people's lives. But I'm not sure I'm really sticking up for realism. I do write mostly realistic stories and I'm sort of proud of how uncool that is. Anyway, Adam didn't like my story. And yet, I like Adam. He's fun. He crashed on my couch.