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More on Jack Matthews

A while back I wrote a short reaction to discovering the short story writer Jack Matthews.

Since that time, I am in the middle of publishing a 5 part interview with Jack Matthews about his life and work (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5).

Here is some critical material I wrote about  Jack Matthews: 

Also, here’s a brief essay by Jack Matthews about the art of giving names to literary characters.

As an aside, I was tempted in my book collecting essay to “bet on” the books by Jack Matthews by spending 100$ to buy extra copies of his books (which are available for only pennies).  For the heck of it, I’ve decided to track the prices of Matthews’ book, starting with the day his interview came out.

I was doing it just to prove a point, but I’m afraid readers might view it as a conflict of interest. Of  course, it’s a conflict of interest; that is the point! Finally, I decided against it because 1)I am at heart a cheapskate and 2)it just would distract the reader too much from the essay itself.

Although I find many of Jack Matthew’s ideas fascinating,  the economic/capitalistic parts strike me as rather trivial in the grand scheme of things. To put it in another way: because everyone worries and writes  about money and profitability, there is little value for me to write about it.  (These kinds of thought pieces go out of date quickly anyway). On the other hand,  opinions about the Great Depression or the craft of writing or how to assign names to literary characters strike me as instrinsically interesting to the contemporary reader.

I’ll post more later (and might even post things directly on this blog). But for now I just wanted readers to know what I am doing elsewhere.

Prices on Jack Matthews books (February 25, 2010)

Collecting Rare Books for Pleasure and Profit
.75 cents

Crazy Women

Dubious Persuasions: Short Stories

Ghostly Populations

Storyhood As We Know It: And Other Tales

Tales of the Ohio Land

Dirty Tricks: Short Stories

Sassafras by Jack Matthews

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