Stephen L. Carter: Schachmatt
(The Emperor of Ocean Park)
The novel is dead ... at least, the great
American novel is, if it is true what the critics say
about this book: brilliant, witty, cleverly constructed,
inspired. They even declare Carter to be a new Theodore
Fortunately for the great American novel,
none of this is really true. In fact, it is an unbelievably
poor book! (monotonous syntax; stereotypical chapter
construction; continually written in the tedious first
person singular; phlegmatic tone, false approach, inelegant
mode of expression...)
Stephen L. Carter, though, seems to be
a pleasant individual, and is no doubt a perfectly effective
professor of jurisprudence at Yale University. Unfortunately,
however, he lacks the talent required for writing a
novel. This is why his creation has to be rejected -
he has produced a boring and trifling tome of 860 excruciating
How could it have become a bestseller?
There is only one explanation: money makes the world
go round. Artistic capability and success are no longer
related - nearly all today's stars bear this fact out.
It is all false, as is so often in big business.
In other words: since it is already a
success, it is sure to become so.
It would be better to dissociate chess
from such an embarrassment...