Myths

Parker’s Myths of Literature

  1. The author has a contract with the reader.
  2. Authors are always open and honest about their works.
  3. Authors are the ones that know the most about what they have written.
  4. Authors that write highly poetic and evocative prose are better writers.
  5. Authors that write difficult, complex novels are only writing to impress college professors.
  6. Authors that write difficult, complex prose or highly allusive prose are not being considerate of their readers.
  7. Authors that leave out punctuation or paragraph breaks or fail to attribute every piece of dialogue are purposely making it hard for the reader.
  8. Authors with Creative Writing School credentials are the best writers.
  9. The author probably used your Aunt Martha as the model for his character in the novel.
  10. The author wants you to think about Aunt Martha and not waste time thinking about the character in the novel that reminded you of your Aunt.
  11. A novel that has at least one character that reminds you of one of your relatives or friends is a superior novel.
  12. A novel must have at least one likable character to identify with.
  13. Characters in a novel must be believable.
  14. A setting, if important to the novel, can be considered a character.
  15. The quality of the book’s cover is an accurate gauge of the quality of the book.
  16. The price of the book is an accurate gauge of the quality of the book.
  17. The bigger and fatter and heavier a book is, the better it is.
  18. Your liking a novel is what makes it good.
  19. If the publisher says a novel is an “instant classic” you can count on it being excellent.
  20. The value and popularity of a novel is defined solely within the text of the novel and is not affected by movie deals, talk show endorsements, or Three-for-Two sales at Barnes and Noble.

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