Good writing doesn’t exist before the 1950s?
I’m reading this writing craft-book. Pretty good book. It ventures into some non-traditional territory and I’m learning things from it.
Only one problem…
The writer only uses literary book examples that were published before the 1950s, plus his writing, of course.
As if nothing good was published after 1950 (except his writing).
When I was using critique as a form of learning, I would read a modern book and think, “This is terrible.” In fact, I’d started to come to the conclusion that book writing had gone downhill since I started reading.
One day, someone left some free books on the break tables at work. They were from the time when I thought books were a lot better. Not only that, it was a writer I remembered reading, so I grabbed the books.
Was surprisingly disappointed. The books weren’t that good, compared to today. We’d evolved, and in some really good ways.
I realized that I was reading so critically that I was destroying the pleasure of my reading experience. Last week, I was enjoying Lee Child’s new book, Make Me. Wish the writer had included best sellers from today. Lee Child’s pretty good at the skills the book was teaching.