Danielle Steel is living testimony to Flannery O’Connor’s observation that anyone can make a great deal of money as a novelist provided that they learn to write badly enough (“A Fantasy Named Danielle Steel” by Nikki Finke, Jan. 6).
The Times’ article revealed Steel at her celebrity best, oozing such poignant and stunningly original comments as, “I love children. I love babies,” and a poetic reference to the realm beyond death as “the big party in the sky,” a profound image that comes perilously close to dethroning Joseph Conrad’s amateurish rendering of “the unfathomable denouement.”
No snob she, Steel heartily echoes hometown America’s penchant for mindless fiction, and she evokes every writer’s experience of discovery in her own eloquent phrasing: “Gee, that’s really neat. Where’d that come from?” Unlike O’Connor and Conrad, however, Steel is not a writer. She is merely the West Coast distributor of the most lucrative drivel ever to be sandwiched between metallic covers.
Since there is apparently no room or need for public recognition of those attempting to produce meaningful work, perhaps the Steel profile can be the first in a series featuring other famous talents, such as renowned thespian Spuds McKenzie or legendary painter Earl Scheib.