The Perils of Lucidity
A surprising amount of the interview was taken up with the question of why I am not, well, really really famous. They seemed to think I ought to be.
Of course I am preoccupied by this question, but I confess to being a little uncomfortable discussing it in a public forum (aside from this one, anyway). And discussing the complexities of American publishing in front of a French audience was daunting. I mean, it doesn't even make sense in English.
Still, one interesting theory arose. Which is that my writing is simply too lucid.
I discuss complex, sophisticated ideas (according to this theory), but I've made the mistake of explaining them with far too much clarity. They just zip into the reader's head and zip out again without gaining a lot of traction.
What I need to do (according to this theory) is to roughen up my style. If I make the reader work harder to absorb my ideas, then they'll stick in his/her head, and I'll be appreciated more.
Or so the theory goes, anyway.
I have to say the idea is counterintuitive. I work hard to communicate with clarity. (And if you doubt that it's work, you should read my first drafts, with their convoluted sentences and polysyllabic Latinisms and the weird little placeholder words that substitute for the mot juste that has somehow escaped me, but that I'll try to reach later.)
But if writing less well is my ticket to fame, then I suppose I could do that. If I had to.
But I thought I'd consult with you all first. Is lucidity my bane?