Pulitzer Prize material

When I’m asked what my writing is like, I’m usually at a loss. “It’s, um, journalistic,” I say. “Direct. Not lyrical.”

I’m not sure that helps since there are tens of thousands of journalists out there, and they certainly don’t all write alike.

Today I found a clue at the I Write Like site. Using a few paragraphs as a guide, it analyzes one’s writing to find which famous author is most similar to one’s personal style. I pasted my prologue (from last week’s post) to get this result:

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t know who David Foster Wallace is. But I should. According to the Oracle of the World Wide Web (a.k.a. Wikipedia), Wallace was an award-winning American novelist, short-story writer and essayist widely known for his 1996 novel “Infinite Jest.” He lived in Illinois once. His unfinished novel, “The Pale King,” was among the three fiction finalists this year for the Pulitzer Prize; none of them was actually awarded the prize when the committee couldn’t reach a majority vote.

Why was it unfinished? Wallace committed suicide in 2008.

“The Pale King” is called a “rollicking postmodern romp” about the Internal Revenue Service.

I’m not sure if I Write Like knows what it’s talking about, but in any case, I’ve been introduced to a new author, and I can add another book to my summer reading queue.


6 thoughts on “Pulitzer Prize material

  1. Using an excerpt from today’s conversational entry, IWL says I write like Cory Doctorow (of “Boing Boing” fame – he’s a blogger). That was not surprising in the least and so I copy and pasted my original text from my previous entry (omitting the embedded quotes) and it came up with an author I hadn’t heard of — Gertrude Stein. Google says that Gertrude Stein “Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American writer, poet, and art collector who spent most of her life in France”

  2. fun website indeed. I tried one blog entry and it said I write like Steven King (hmmmm…it was an excerpt from my devotional writing ~ a little scared!). Entered another and apparently you and I write similarly. I was matched with David Foster Wallace. Thanks for the link…it was a fun interlude in my evening of catching up on all my blog reading!

  3. Pingback: In the words of David Foster Wallace, ‘maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain’; in my words, ‘this book is a pain in the …’ | Minnesota Transplant

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