Posts Tagged: Denis Johnson
Jesus’ Son is often considered the seminal work of Denis Johnson’s career. But recently Johnson called the book a “rip-off” of Isaac Babel’s early 20th century work, Red Cavalry. For The Millions, Nathan Scott McNamara contests Johnson’s assertion, arguing that “rip-off” is not the proper word to describe the influence of Red Cavalry on the author’s story collection:
In Jesus’ Son, the stories and execution certainly have a lot in common with Red Cavalry and — in considering them closely — it seems right for Johnson to acknowledge his debt.
Sentence construction. That’s all a writer does anyhow, right? Not all sentences are made with great care and hold sentiments like this one:
There is something artful and sad in juxtaposing the certainty that something is wrong with the uncertainty over what that thing is.
As a writer, Denis Johnson has demonstrated a remarkable ability to polarize. On the one hand he has impressed some of the most prestigious awards committees in the United States. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship, won the National Book Award in 2007 for Tree of Smoke, and was also short-listed for the Pulitzer that same year....more