Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The Joys Of The George Saunders Style Sheet

Tenth Of December, George Saunders' first collection of stories in six years, comes out January 8, 2013—if you missed it in The New Yorker, you can read the title story here. Below is the style sheet used in-house by the book's editors and production team. In the lists of preferred spellings for words and names (Death (personified), de-elfify, doinking) and other guidelines comes a reminder of what makes Saunders so much fun to read. Remember: Hyphenate compounds made up of nouns of equal value: "elf-baby" (97).

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jdeprima (#240,098)

Dumpster should be capped…

PoignancySelz (#238,693)

the endless war land in bad decline…because of the George Saunders nod, I bow to the Awl.

berts (#235,918)

i understand to a certain degree what appeals about Saunders (his pleasure in language—e.g. 'doinking'—is immense and usually fun) but am i the only one who finds that there's this cloying, sentimental, M.F.A. claptrap lurking in the structure of most of his stories? ~~~~namely the targeted production of minor epiphanies~~~ like a guy with the tools & smarts to write in the Barth/Barthelme/Gaddis/etc.-tradition, but whose sentimentality keeps dragging him back to Eugenides/Jhumpa-Lahiri terrain…..

berts (#235,918)

@berts ((not to be some recidivist, 'things were so great in the 60s' type—i think there's tons of great writers working today–Donald Antrim, Lydia Davis, Helen Dewitt, Ben Lerner, Rivka Galchen, de la Pava, to name only Americans—but for me Saunders for all his pretenses to the contrary falls more in the spectrum of hokey NYorker-story cheeseballs))

@berts He's a great comedian of horror and I find most of his epiphanies intentionally hollow. They're usually too late to actually help the character.

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