onsdag 26 april 2017

Painters and Draughtsmen


Hereby a fascinating perspective on prose writing.




You could say: writers are either painters or draughtsmen.

When writing prose, authors either tend to be (1) painters (with elaborate style, wordiness, a lot of color and environment, a tendency to be rhetoric) or (2) draughtsmen (with a more restrained style, aiming at "le mot propre" and "less is more," a laconic style, maybe even epigrammatic, and with a parsimonious characterization of people's looks, milieus).

So with this in mind, an overview of western prose authors can be given with this dichotomy as a pattern (and I'll present each cathegory along the lines of Sweden -- Europe -- America).

Unscientifically, I'd say these are painters:
Verner von Heidenstam, Selma Lagerlöf, August Strindberg, Sigfrid Siwertz, Frans G. Bengtsson, Bertil Mårtensson, Lars Holger Holm, Fjodor Dostoyevsky, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Stendhal, Marcel Proust, Gabriele d'Annunzio, Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, J. R. R. Tolkien, Mervyn Peake, Alistair MacLean, Michael Moorcock, J. G. Ballard, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, C. A. Smith, R. E. Howard, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Ursula LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, Samuel Delany, Gene Wolfe, G. R. R Martin, William Gibson, Thomas Pynchon
And the draughtsmen:
Pär Lagerqvist, P. O. Sundman, Lars Gustafsson, Stig Claesson, Pär Rådström, P. O. Enquist, Claes Hylinger, Sam J. Lundwall, Erik Andersson, Thomas Nydahl, Franz Kafka, Peter Handke, Botho Strauss, Alexander Kluge, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch, Voltaire, Françoise Sagan, Albert Camus, Henri Charrière, George Simenon, Rudyard Kipling, A. C. Clarke, Jorge Luis Borges, Gertrude Stein, Dashiell Hammett, Charles Bukowski, Fredric Brown, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Larry Niven
Nota bene that I've concentrated on prose writers. Maybe the same pattern applies in poetry. I don't know.

Also, there are some writers that don't fit the pattern at all, like Philip K. Dick. And Ernst Jünger. Of the latter, you could say that he was a painter in Heliopolis and a draughtsman in Eumeswil.




Related (in Swedish)
Heliopolis
Svenska stories
Arméstaben: SoldF 1957
Poe: Den gyllene skalbaggen (1962)
Högakustenbron / Bridge over Ångermanälven

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