Saturday, May 14, 2022

Sometimes, They Aren't So Terrible

Political Calculations: Why you should read terrible books.

[Photo by Annie Spratt at Unsplash]


Dan in Philly said...

I remember reading a book in which the main character was an artist, and at one time he commented that you can learn a lot more about a school of art through their bad work than their good work.

The good work is elevated and polished and the artist can frequently hide what he does. A bad artist isn't so skilled, and so what they are trying to do is blatantly obvious. By studying the bad artists execution, you can understand the good artists technique.

Michael Wade said...


As one observer put it, "Eat technique." In other words, know the rules so well that they come naturally. I think it's important to read a variety of writers in order to grasp that.

Louis L'Amour was far from a bad writer and, although not Tolstoy or Dickens, he knew how to tell a compelling story.

Sometimes there can be a fine line between a bad writer and a reasonably good one. Studying the bad ones can, as a minimum, give a sense of what to avoid.