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Samir's Critical Corner

I love good writing. Samir's Critical Corner will have reviews on World Literature but you will also find reviews on various subjects like Mathematics or Tai Chi, and on specific niches like Nigerian writers.

Currently reading

South Sea Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
Robert Louis Stevenson
Progress: 122/289 pages
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers - John Gardner This is Gardner's classic text of 'how to write'. The incredibly arrogant tone and egotistical voice of Gardner drove me nuts at times but I plowed through to the end.

The book's in two parts, the first is a collection of four essays on literature - titled 'Notes on Literary-Aesthetic Theory' - of which, the first two were engaging and insightful. The third essay was twice as long as any of the others and gave me the impression of how much Gardner is in love with his own ideas and how infallible he believes them to be... nothing for me, thank you. The content of the fourth didn't engage me at all. The second part of the book - Notes on the Fictional Process - contained three chapters on writing 'Common Errors', 'Technique' and 'Plotting'. Of these, only 'Technique' was useful and offered new input compared to most general writing books out there. The discussions on sentence rhythms was well constructed and I'd recommend this to many students of writing. The other chapters were somewhat dull and unnecessarily technical, again elaborating Gardner's self-love of his own voice.