A Review by New Pop Lit
Dinosaurs! All dinosaurs.
In style, the well-hyped “big” lit novels from Big Publishing in New York are dinosaurs. Just as surely as were the long, tank-like automobiles of the 1950’s. Cruising leisurely along with giant fins gleaming. A display of waste and ornament.
BRIGHT, PRECIOUS DAYS by Jay McInerney is the dinosaur novel in question. Not a bad novel, if you can stick with it. Tale of a publishing Insider caught in domestic crises involving bimbos and billionaires. Overpriced wine, food, and drugs. Hard-cover version sold last year for $27.95. Lavish coverage by New York print media. Swanky release party in the Hamptons. Not a ripple in the greater culture. In 1959 when big dinosaur novels were the thing, it would’ve been a best seller.
Much of McInerney’s writing style– the standard literary style for decades– is ornament. Long paragraphs of useless description or rumination. Waste. In his long and successful career Jay Mac never realized the more description he gives of a room, the less clearly the reader sees it. T.M.I. You could cut out half the verbiage. It’d be a better read and sell for half the price.
THE INCREDIBLY SHRINKING LITERARY WORLD
Jay McInerney writes for an audience which no longer exists. Today, even the leisure class has no leisure time. In reality, he writes for book reviewers at newspapers– entities which are themselves vanishing.
Obsolescence– provided by the bloated bureaucracies of the New York book conglomerates.
Even the book’s concept is from another era. McInerney’s long-ago first novel had a style which grabbed the reader’s attention. He’s forgotten why that hit novel was a hit. In the 1980’s Jay McInerney was the literary future. Today he, his book, its artistic premises– the conglomerate agent editors entire edifice which produced it– are the quickly vanishing past.
(Photo of Jay McInerney.)