Thursday, April 08, 2021

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Recently heard Ernest Hemingway described as the most important American writer since Mark Twain. That of course made me wonder - who is the most important American writer since Hemingway? Technically John Steinbeck outlived Hemingway but I consider him a contemporary. Kurt Vonnegut? Please don't say Stephen King. Who? Seriously.. In 1978 China was far from an economic powerhouse but they allowed free trading zones imitating Hong Kong. That allowed the rise of their economy because of entrepreneurs like Jack Ma. Now both Hong Kong and Jack Ma are in shackles. Is it really reasonable for people to expect China's growth to continue unabated under those circumstances?... Perhaps my favorite tattoo story (and Sailor is Poker Hall of Famer Sailor Roberts)... So let me get this straight some people are for vaccine passports but these same people are against DNA samples from illegal immigrants with children crossing the border to see if they are actually the parents or the children are victims of human traffickers. The same people are able to hold both of these demands in their heads - simultaneously... Any truth to the rumor that Jell-O Pudding Pops have signed Deshaun Watson as their new celebrity spokesperson?...     


  1. I remember reading a criticism of Stephen King's writing and it pointed out his analogies and descriptions were taken from Saturday morning cartoons. However he has sold more books than anyone else,so reluctantly he would qualify as being important.I have read only a chapter or so of his writing, it was not for me.
    Is he in the same league as Twain or Vonnegut? Hardly. Maybe J.D. Salinger? Maybe Joseph Heller or even Erik Larsen would qualify for most important? I am impressed by Ron Chernow in the non fiction category as well as David McCullough.
    Hated to bring up Stephen King, so I apologize.

  2. William Faulkner. "The past isn't dead. It's not even past."

  3. Bringing up King is expected because of the number of books sold. Just glad you didn't try to sell Hunter S. Thompson.

    Salinger really only had one book. Same with Heller. If you wanted to stretch genres an argument could be made for Arthur Miller or Neil Simon. Honestly struggling with this.

  4. Faulkner lived just one more year after Hemingway. Another contemporary but not in the same league as Papa.

  5. Important to who, really? If it's a bunch of academics answering, you might get Gore Vidal or Tom Wolfe nominated.
    If you want popular in multiple formats, Dr. Seuss and Michael Chrichton come to mind.
    Best seller - Danielle Steele.

  6. Of course picking a white man as most important anything will get you lynched today, so good luck with that.

  7. Tom Wolfe is an actually interesting name. Crichton's State of Fear may be historically more relevant then we realize.

    If you really open it up then Stan Lee might actually end up being the most influential. (Kind of half kidding.)