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Article:
  An Interview with Cory Doctorow
Subject:   A novel about wi-fi? Good god.
Date:   2005-03-06 04:29:21
From:   poboxbot
When someone, especially a writer with fans, like Cory Doctorow, goes online and uses a term like deconstruction incorrectly, as he does here when he implies it as a synonym for, say, "dismantling" or "exposing", he encourages and, unfortunately, even authorizes a common misconception about a major movement in literary criticism.


Based on his remarks in the interview, I'm guessing he doesn't have too fine a handle on "magical realism," either.


Doctorow's funny, clever, and inventive when he puts in the effort ("Down and Out"), but I get the feeling that's more of a rarity for him than a practice.


Most of his short works are marred by awful dialogue, stilted prose, and ill-conceived structures. Much of it reads like poorly veiled essays -- overbearing vehicles to push a technical or political point, with little regard for actual story.


He's excellent at self promotion -- a sort of a junior Dave Eggers (see interview) -- but I wish he'd put half the effort into the actual work as he did his own hype.


As for the new bit, it demonstrates an ungodly amount of hubris for a rookie author to take aim at sci-fi giants in such an obvious, public way. It smacks of an undergraduate English major writing Hemingway "parodies" for the school literary journal. Yes, it's all very clever, modern, trendy and po-mo.


But god, you should be so lucky as to be a tenth as talented.

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  • a valuable guide to discourse
    2005-03-07 18:15:57  flwombat [View]

    I was all set to chime in with my own thoughts about some of the works discussed here, but then I realized that, not being a venerated literary master, I really ought to keep my mouth shut. I mean, I myself have only a cursory understanding of what deconstruction is all about; I've never even read Derrida! Imagine, someone like me offering criticism!

    Which leads me to wonder: is there a national or international accrediting agency to which I can apply for the right to reinterpret or rebut those works that form the foundations of our shared culture? (I hope there's a standardized test involved. I'm good at those!)