Understandably, you wanted to put these things together - the heightened sense of the valences of words on the one hand, new-up people-interest on the other. This brought you back to ''realism,'' and as soon as you looked again you remembered why you weren't doing it to begin with. First of all, it was full of lies, falsifications of experience for the sake of drama - which was paradoxical, since it purported to be representation; second, there was a lot of writing a thing to death, writing and writing until the only hope was that in the aggregate something had got onto the page; third, there was the posturing, as if the author were trying to sell you something; fourth, and finally, in constructing the ''see-through'' prose, writers too often overlooked the prose itself, the result being cat food. You, a newly degreed post-modernist, flush with finally locating that hog high on which you wanted to live, knew better - writing bad was O.K. only if you did it intentionally, and well.

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