The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Should Writers Avoid Sentimentality?

“Each week in Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. Roland Barthes said, “It is no longer the sexual which is indecent, it is the sentimental.” This week, Zoë Heller and Leslie Jamison debate whether sentimentailty is a cardinal sin for writers.”

via Should Writers Avoid Sentimentality? –

My creative writing teachers always said sentimentality was a cheap way of going after emotions. Did you hear this, too?




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2 thoughts on “Should Writers Avoid Sentimentality?

  1. I’ve heard it, but I don’t buy it. Sure, there can be too much, but I want to be moved by a book. I’d prefer to see us move away from snark and cynicism and back towards sentimentality.

    • I think the sentimentality referred to here isn’t sentimental in nature, but is the author’s telling of the reader what emotions are present in the characters rather than showing them the scene in such a way that they (the readers) come to those conclusions.

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