Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Michael Gorra on Cynthia Ozick

In the April/May issue of Bookforum, Michael Gorra reviews Cynthia Ozick’s latest collection of stories, Dictation: A Quartet. Gorra has this interesting opinion about Ozick's work:

[I]n reading [Ozick] I find myself always asking why I don’t like her work as much as I respect it. That reaction may have to do with the posture she takes toward her characters. [Henry] James wrote that George Eliot, whom he admired above all other novelists in English, nevertheless allowed her work to lapse from a picture into a fable; that she was always in danger of making her characters serve to demonstrate a lesson. Something like that is true of Ozick. She is a moralist, not a dramatist …. So one reads with a sense of indifference, involved in the brilliant carapaces of her sentences but only rarely in the story as a whole; indeed, one reads without any investment in what happens next. Or no: an intellectual investment only.

See the full review here.

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