The Difference Between Pulp Fiction and Lasting Literature

September 25, 2017
Writing is a strange beast. Everyone can do it, but very few can do it well. And those that can do it well often have very little cognizance as to what it is about their process that makes it click — F. Scott Fitzgerald died thinking he was a failure despite writing arguably the greatest book of the 20th century (The Great Gatsby). But author, intellect, and all-around bon vivant Salman Rushdie has a good take on what makes great books work: they capture the moment around the character and incorporate it into the story, which helps drive the story forward. It might not seem to many like a massive change, but Rushdie accurately points out that this is what made Gatsby work so well: the novel's ability to capture the moment of the Jazz Age. It's that ability to write layers into the story that separates the wheat from the chaff. If you'd like to read more of Rushdie's work, his latest work is The Golden House.