Barbarians at the gate!

“‘He is a man who writes what used to be called penny dreadfuls’…That they could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy.'” Harold Bloom, self-appointed arbiter of what does and does not have literary value, commenting on the fact that the National Book Awards is planning to give its annual medal for distinguished contribution to American letters to Stephen King. No sign of an inventive human intelligence in Stephen King? I submit there are more signs of an inventive human intelligence in the average King story than in many whole books of so-called literary fiction. After all, what inventiveness is required to recount in tortured prose the deadly dull details of a middle-aged man’s mid-life crisis, particularly if you are a middle-aged man undergoing a mid-life crisis? If Mr. Bloom’s mind were closed any tighter, it would implode.

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