Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

John Connolly on an old argument

I have to admit, I’ve not yet read a John Connolly novel, though by all accounts, his books seem right up my alley. He’s an Irish writer who writes ostensibly crime novels that have, according to his Wikipedia article, become in recent years increasingly concerned with the supernatural.

So yah, got to look me up some of those.

Dude’s won a bunch of genre-type awards: a Stoker for best first novel and a Shamus. And two of his books have apparently come with soundtracks, which is totally awesome (note to self: what is the soundtrack for my writing?).

Connolly recently posted a great blog on the old argument concerning ‘genre’ fiction versus ‘literary’ fiction. It’s well worth reading just to enjoy the pretension of some writers. I mean, holy shit, you think it’s a joke some writers think the way he portrays, and then you meet those writers who not only think that way but even speak that way, and you know for a fact those are the same damned annoying writers who appropriate agent/editor panels at writing conferences to ask deeply personal questions about their deeply personal pet projects and who believe the publishing world is totally against them because it’s a covert and Cabalistic cadre of secret societies and secreter handshakes one can only break into if one compromises one’s ‘artistic integrity.’

He makes a lot of points I agree a lot with, but the money one comes toward the end:

I believe that art and craft are not mutually exclusive. One works at one’s craft, and one hopes that, along the way, art may possibly emerge. Even if it does not, one can still take pride in the fact that one has done one’s best.

Because, seriously, totally


  1. John Connolly’s books are extremely well-written and entertaining. And I’ve met the man, and he is extremely well-spoken, entertaining and hilarious. I’m not surprised he wrote a great blog on the prentiousness of some authors who are whining about being locked up in the genre closet. Check out his novel “The Book of Lost Things”–it’s very unlike his crime fiction (except for the common denominator of good writing and great storytelling).


  2. Prententiousness, not “pretiousness.” Geez.

  3. @Colleen: I’ll definitely check that out, and I knew what you meant. Thanks!

  4. Late to the party on this one- I have been unavoidably away from The Internet recently. Just want to say that John Connolly is one of my favourite authors. I’m usually too cheap to buy hardbacks, but Connolly is one of the few exceptions.

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