Abandoned Books

Reviews of books and authors not much discussed on the web.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Irwin Shaw -- Information

Here's the kirjasto piece:

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/ishaw.htm

It's basically the party line on Shaw: esteemed, not much read nowadays. Personally I think Shaw would've preferred to be a little less revered and a little more read.

Look, I'm not saying Shaw's short stories are bad. They're well crafted, esteemable attempts at what he tried to do. I just don't think his goals were that interesting. "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses" is a well wrought, even fussily wrought, piece of nothing, ultimately.

Speaking of "Girls", if you google Shaw you'll find a link to read that story online. I have my doubts the Shaw estate knows and approves, hence my not including the link. But in the interest of the free flow of information and all that.

Here's a tedious review of Five Decades. Hackwriters indeed:

http://www.hackwriters.com/Irwin.htm

Mr. Schneider alternates between plot summaries and the usual airy nothings that get written about this kind of fiction. See? This is where non-engagement ultimately takes you.

The Paris Review is very nicely putting out all of their old interviews online for free. Here's the Shaw one:

http://theparisreview.org/media/5157_SHAW.pdf

He comes across quite nicely, in a humorously curmudgeonly kind of way. Outside of the no-doubt inevitable romanticization of his past, I thought he had a lot of wise things to say about writers and failure, writers and success, how one thinks about writing. He's also (unusually) wise about his own writing -- I quite agree, Shaw is anything but a moralist. Miss that and you miss him completely.

And finally, the best is saved for last. I introduce you trembingly to the great Ramesh Avadhani, who's living and loving it up in Bangalore India.

http://livingandlovinginbangalore.blogspot.com/2006/05/irwin-shaw.html

I think this is going to be a regular stop for me from here on out.

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