The Guy Who Wrote "The Notebook" Thinks He's The Next Hemingway

3/26/2010 Posted by Admin


The Guy Who Wrote "The Notebook" Thinks He's The Next Hemingway

By our guest blogger, Marie Biondolillo

Even if you don't know who Nicholas Sparks is, you know who Nicholas Sparks is. He's the douchebag Man of Letters who won't stop writing novels that get turned into popular snuff films, such as "Dear John" and "The Notebook." So even if you're not one of his no doubt discerning readers, you've probably heard his brilliant prose deliciously squish from the pillowy lips of Method actors like Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.

But did you know that Nicholas Sparks is a writer on par with Sophocles, Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway? If you are not aware that Nicholas Sparks is a great writer who pens eternal classics, Nicholas Sparks is here to enlighten you. In a recent interview with USA Today, Nicholas Sparks let us know exactly what class of writer he is.

"I don't write romance novels," said Nicholas Sparks, best-selling author of ten billion romance novels. When understandably confused USA Today interviewer Anthony Breznican asked Sparks to clarify the proper term for his post-structuralist screeds, Sparks issued this trenchant response: "Love stories--it's a very different genre."

O RLY, Nicholas Sparks? Are you aware that nobody would ever make that particular distinction, because it does not actually exist, except in your pale, sweaty mind? Did you know that the division between those two genres is invisible, thereby rendering it not a distinction at all?

Nicholas Sparks does not know this, as was revealed in further questioning by the intrepid Breznican. For instance, Nicholas Sparks has incontrovertible evidence that he is not a romance novelist. As he told Breznican, "If you look for me, I'm in the fiction section. Romance has its own section."

Oh, they put your romance novels in the fiction section! That must mean they are literature, instead of emotional masturbation devices for 15-year-old girls. Yup, if you go to the fiction section of any reputable bookstore, you'll find "The Notebook" shelved in between "The Sound and the Fury" and "The Iliad." Except that any time I've seen Sparks' novels for sale (which is usually when I go to the supermarket for a carton of milk), they are sandwiched next to books like "The Rapey Pirate Stud" and "Heaving Bosom Party." In other words, his books are sold with the romance novels, because they are romance novels.

But Nicholas Sparks thinks he is part of a grand literary tradition. As he told Breznican, "I write in a genre that was not defined by me. The examples were not set out by me. They were set out 2,000 years ago by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides."

See, Nicholas Sparks writes Greek tragedies. You can tell because when you think of classic tragedies, like "Hamlet" or "Oedipus Rex," you also think of "A Walk to Remember"!

Sparks clarifies: "What is the purpose of what I do? These are love stories. They went from (Greek tragedies) to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' then Jane Austen did it, put a new human twist on it. Hemingway did it with 'A Farewell to Arms.'"

What would our nation's universities do without Nicholas Sparks to explain literary theory to them? Luckily, Nicholas Sparks has many insights into literature, some of which he was kind enough to share with Breznican.

"'A Farewell to Arms,' by Hemingway. Good stuff. That's what I write," Sparks told Breznican. He even repeated it in case Breznican couldn't grasp this insight the first time: "That's what I write."

Yes, Nicholas Sparks is truly a Hemingway for our times. After all, like Hemingway, Sparks limns the central philosophical questions of humanity in muscular but elegant prose. You know, questions like: "What if Miley Cyrus were a classical pianist?"

Indeed, Sparks has wrought a powerful literary analysis concentrated upon this very question. See, Miley Cyrus needs a cinematic vehicle that will help her to transition to "big girl" parts, and Nicholas Sparks was man enough to tackle this ponderous project. When he heard that Miley was looking for her version of "Slingblade," he pitched a novel idea to Disney. With help from ace editors like Miley Cyrus and various Disney executives, he was able to pen a mighty novel, from which a film starring Cyrus already has been created.

This is exactly like when Hemingway wrote "The Old Man and the Sea" as a vehicle for starlet Spencer Tracy, who was looking to transition from "middle-aged dude roles" to "old dude roles." Except that what actually happened was that Hemingway wrote "The Old Man and the Sea" for Life Magazine and it won a Pulitzer and helped Hemingway win the Nobel Prize for Literature and then it was adapted into a film six years later and it was nominated for billions of Oscars and Hemingway totally hated it. Yes, Sparks is truly walking in Hemingway's footsteps.

But do you know who is not walking in Hemingway's footsteps? Nicholas Sparks does! According to Nicholas Sparks, the biggest hack writing today is Cormac McCarthy, author of "No Country for Old Men," "Blood Meridian" and "The Road." In reference to "Blood Meridian," Sparks told Breznican that it was "horrible," adding "this is probably the most pulpy, overwrought, melodramatic cowboy vs. Indians story ever written."

Oh, it's true.  The first words that come to mind when one thinks of Cormac McCarthy are "melodramatic hack." Not like the work of Nicholas Sparks, which is all raw authenticity. As Sparks explains, "I do not verge into melodrama. It's all drama. I try to generate authentic emotional power."

When the wily Breznican asked Sparks which books he does consider worthy, specifically in the genre of coming-of-age novels, Sparks replied, "I think 'A Walk to Remember,'" adding "You have to say 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is an all-time classic."

"A Walk to Remember" is Sparks' own book. He considers it superior to "To Kill a Mockingbird." If I ever get suicidal, I'm going to start dropping this into conversation, like "Yeah, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is alright, but it's no 'A Walk to Remember.'" Then I will lie back and wait to get killed. Unless I say this in the company of Nicholas Sparks, I'm sure sweet death will soon be forthcoming, as nobody besides Nicholas Sparks considers that statement less than totally obscene.

Even Miley isn't all that keen on ol' Sparkplug--she confessed to Breznican that she didn't even bother to finish the book that Sparks specifically wrote for her. I hate Nicholas Sparks more than Idi Amin, but even I would finish a book that he wrote specifically for me. When asked by Breznican what she thought of the parts she actually did read, Cyrus replied, "It is melodramatic."

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  1. Rabid Fox said...

    I recently won two of his books. I'm less eager to read them after reading this. Oh well.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I actually tend to agree with Sparks. I have read his work and it is above the class of romance. Just my opinion.

  3. Marie said...

    To each his own, Baba, although I wonder if the perception of Sparks as being better than a mere "romance novelist" comes from the fact that he is male.

    Also, the original interview contains even more hilarious Sparks quotes here

  4. Parisian Heart said...