The American literary critic James F. Buckley once famously wrote that the best novels are the ones that have a clear idea of the author, the way the reader knows the plot and the setting.
But what if a writer, say, Thomas Pynchon, doesn’t have a strong idea of his own voice?
What if he is just a man of words?
And what if the writing of words is the very essence of literature?
The essay is about these questions and more in this new edition of The Lad.