THE ANTI-CANON—O.HENRY. Mallon also cites Rand’s praise for O. Henry as evidence of Rand being a “poor reader.” I recognize that O. Henry is looked down on now. He is part of the “anti-canon.” I think he is underrated. Mallon says “The O. Henry [Rand] describes bears more resemblance to the candy bar than the story writer: his ‘unique characteristic is the pyrotechnical virtuosity of an inexhaustible imagination projecting the gaiety of a benevolent, almost childlike sense of life.'” Rand’s description captures a characteristic of O. Henry that is not often noted: the exuberance of the story teller with an unlimited number of stories to tell. There is a zest for life in the profusion of stories that he knows about all the people in New York (and elsewhere). There is a worldliness in O. Henry that Rand passes over, but on the whole Rand’s description of O. Henry is apt. On the other hand, Rand’s description of O. Henry is a very poor description of a candy bar.

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  1. Mary Jane Schaefer says:

    I am astonished that Rand, whose ideas are rather granite-like, should appreciate warmth, whimsy, romance. Perhaps the critic is attacking Rand as Rand, and O’Henry and Rostand are just innocent by-standers?

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