Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The End of the Line for Naturalism?

From Writer's Blog:
Joyce Carol Oates Apologizes

Joyce Carol Oates has apologized to those who were upset after reading her short story "Landfill," which recently appeared in The New Yorker. The story is based on the tragic death of a real student and many were shocked at the realistic details used in the story.

Where on earth will literary naturalism go from here? Has naturalism really become so reportorial that it can no longer be distinguished from journalism?

Imagine if a grieving family could sue a naturalistic author for incorrect fiction. That might cause a bit of writer's block in the Oateses and Proulxs of the world. It might also sink a few of the businesses where naturalists gather to feed such as The New Yorker and Glimmer Train Press.

Let's hope it never comes to that, if only out of concern for First Amendment rights.