She is sensitive enough to feel dirty about her work. Jesus Christ but the tricksters sure do pay for their foxy little literary tricks, selling out their own imaginations, getting dirty inside.
Down capitalism. It has so many little subtle ways of selling people out.
--From Ray Lewis White, ed., Sherwood Anderson's Secret Love Letters (1991)
|Sherwood Anderson: no fan of tricksters|
On this blog we've heard opinions expressed on detective fiction from various notable writers, including John Updike, Sinclair Lewis, William Faulkner and Vladimir Nabokov. And now Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) chimes in, not very sympathetically to say the least!
Detective stories, written by "trick writers" at the behest of a spiritually vapid marketplace ("Down capitalism"), constitute a "sell-out" of the imagination that makes one feel dirty inside. Case in point, according to Anderson: the newspaperwoman who appeared drunk at his 1932 Oakland lecture.
Who was this woman? It was Nancy Barr Mavity (1890-1959), a longtime reporter for the Oakland Tribune. She was said to be "intrepid, brilliant, whimsical and with a curiosity about and liking for life at all levels. (though evidently she was not brimming with joie de vivre that night she saw Sherwood Anderson--she sounds more like a character from Winesburg, Ohio).
But how good a detective novelist was she? Find out soon! Or has anyone read any of her mysteries? If so, what did you think?