Who's up there? What makes someone a stylist rather than simply having good or great prose? And don't say "a style,".
Perhaps 'stylist' suggests a self-consciousness about style that you'd find in the modernist/postmodernist writers.
Oh interesting, I haven't read any DeLillo, but this does remind me of a bit of Pynchon and DFW (perhaps more so the latter, but I've only read Broom of the System). Absolutely beautiful sentences, excellent on a purely aesthetic level, but when you dig does into substance, it doesn't always seem to compare with the style. I mean, you could argue thats as much a reflection of postmodernism itself, and that Pynchon and DFW are just zeitgeist mouthpieces.It can feel like an admission good prose is all they have. That they can't do the other things. When I think of someone being referred to as a stylist, I think of someone like DeLillo where many will say his plots go nowhere and his characters all sound the same, but his sentences are impeccable.
I don't think I've seen Beckett referred to as a stylist even though he has a voice and an ear and an eye and sometimes a gimmick.
Yeah and the paranoid/conspiratorial "style" is really more than just a prosaic sensibility in his case, at least in what I've read. It permeates the psychology of characters and kinda colors the whole world they inhabit.Pynchon's clearly very conscious of style, but I wouldn't call him a stylist as I think the historical and political elements of his writing are also what really make him him.
Henry Miller strikes me as a stylist.
Not read dfw for a while - i used to be huge fan - i will settle down and have a re-read of this tonightI ask because its a very corpsey story - a funny exploration of self doubt, wanting love, worries about authenticity, to be seen as clever. Its obviously an indirect suicide note from him, but it does have a pay off and lesson and imo its the best thing hes done and maybe the easiest thing to read. Did you like it @jenks ?