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James Salter, Light Years

I'll admit it: eventually, unwillingly, I fell in love with this book. Until I did, though, and it took an awful lot of pages, I kept thinking that maybe James Salter's 1975 Light Years was some sort of in-joke parody of literary fiction.

And also, based strictly on the first sentence of his introduction to the edition I picked up, Richard Ford can just fuck right off:
It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anybody writing today. (xv)As is the case with Richard Ford, James Salter is read by a minority of "readers of fiction," so their "article of faith" is cult-level, plus you can hold any article of faith without evidentiary support, and faith is for believers rather than thinkers. Also, what the hell is an "American sentence"? And that "anybody writing today": you read everything, do you?

To some extent, I assume that Ford is obliquely remarking that Salter's prose…

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