While always fair—she more often damns writers with faint praise than condemns them outright—, Bowen is not afraid to drag the occasional soul over hell’s coals when needed. In a review of Upton Sinclair’s Between Two Worlds, her opening remark that Sinclair is “a prolific writer, and obviously a very impassioned one” is not intended as a compliment. Sinclair once bragged about his writing that “all I have to do is turn the spigot and the water flows,” to which Bowen responds: “It certainly does … Mr. Sinclair has no time for style: his narrative method reminds one of an incoherent person talking in a train. But one must honor his important intention—which is to save the world.”
… On Reviewing.
(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)