When the attractions of a narrative writer such as Hemingway have been disposed of, there always remains the quality of the prose. I can hear a defender bringing up it's a gem like clarity and so on, it's minute observation, it's delicate reporting of dissociated facts which are exquisitely blended into an organic whole, and so forth. To this we reply simply that if you value such things, then the physical world provides them in a form which is both more entrancing and rewarding.

 “I too hate poetry”, said Marianne Moore, and views of this kind are inevitable for all those who have some understanding of the inner workings of the arts as well as subjective experience of the consequences of that machinery. When one knows the score, suspicion is the proper attitude.

Abstraction is a conceptual tool and useful, but to privilege it beyond the experience of the senses, itself only a selection, is to so narrow the front of our engagement with the world that only tedium can result. – Visual abstractions, paintings, are proper decorations for surfaces which would otherwise be dull, though a window is in most cases preferable, and literature is the futile decoration of a psychological better filled with our own responses.

But of course, I admit, that there are times when we are so imprisoned that a poem may, or a novel even and especially, provide a welcome escape. But this is a last and therapeutic resort.