1. What could possibly explain Sutherland’s off-target evaluation of Richard Powers? Powers is not the least bit dense or demanding — his prose is remarkably clear, linear and straightforward. To say that he is more difficult to read than Pynchon is absolutely nonsensical.

    As can be easily observed simply by reading my occasional mocking comments here at Ed’s Place, I personally dislike writers who are intentionally dense and difficult (like Pynchon, Vollmann, Barth). Richard Powers couldn’t be farther from this tradition. Sutherland missed this call by a mile.

  2. There is an issue here, I think. Namely a blindspot in British literary culture. Or possibly a weak spot in American literary culture.

    On Powers, I think I’m one of the few reviewers in the UK to have written a retrospective of his work, in the LRB. I found it knotty, and complicated. Which may, I suppose, be attributable to the congenital dullness.

    allbest, john sutherland

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