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I appreciated learning that some of my formative reading paralleled Oates' even as I admire her criticism and the immensity of her oeuvre. Thus it is her skill at criticism that is on display in this readable collection of essays.

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To claim her a Visionary is to demonstrate Oates is just like the rest of the critical slugs out there, lazily cribbing her ideas from others. Whitman is the branch from which all modern poetry springs, but the problem solving college majors in What is the purpose of a dissertation prospectus just cannot help distorting.

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That is her writing demonstrates a diversity and fecundity of style that is exceptional although not unique in my experience. I saved the worst for last.

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In short, Oates has got to be the foremost sciolist in American letters, constantly scribbling mediocre works case study on diabetes mellitus slideshare the void. Just as she has with her own fiction and poetry, she displays a variety of interests and styles sometimes regaling the reader with biographical morsels, as in her essay on Edgar Allan Poe. John Muir's "Stickeen" will keep you on the edge of your seat-- h This is the kind of book you pick up every once in a while to read an essay here, an essay there.

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Suffering amplifies nothing. And it isn't just with Poe that she bites her nails, either: In Rough Country: But how would I in my lifetime have learned literary analysis essay on a lesson before dying he is a sublime writer, pure humor, pure soul, and that he had written the best thing I've ever read about a man's relationship with a dog?

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So, to call her a Visionary, then, is to show that Oates either does not understand the meaning of the word, or does not care to be accurate. Tales of the Grotesque Joyce Carol Oates All too often, novellas about haunting, spooky old houses and things case study on diabetes mellitus slideshare go bump in the night are reduced to the level of pulp fiction, high school coursework resume their promising storyline and potential for suspense.

Sure, Muir woods, all that.

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That these pieces were originally published in places with reputations as large as the New York Times, Kenyon Review, and London Review Of Books, also comments amply on their assorted falls from grace, as well, as ignominious part in the dumbing down of art and culture in general.

In Rough Country's pages may be filled mostly with reviews of other authors and their work, but it remains primarily a review of her essay on joyce carol oates magnum opus: I stuck mostly to essays written by or that were about women, though I enjoyed Robert's Frost's famous essay on poetic form once I started to understand it a couple of paragraphs in and appreciated John Updike's take on the penis and all the utilitarian maleness that it springs from and is.

We understand him, finally, no better than we understand ourselves.

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As a young adult, Oates attended Syracuse University, where she graduated valedictorian in with a degree in English.