Count me among Alice Munro's admirers. But I've got a question: what is it about this woman's fiction that continually elicits descriptions of perfection? I'm looking for a nitty-gritty discussion of craft here.
Perfection implies fidelity to a pre-existing template. Formalism. I think with Munro the template is one largely of her own invention or, at least, stylization. It's hers, but we can recognize it from a mile away. Sometimes, also, "perfect" describes a nakedness of technical prowess, perhaps even of such impressive proportions that it eclipses emotional response. We admire perfection, but do we love it? In neither way is "perfect" a word that makes me want to read something (maybe a rhetorical text, but not a fiction.)
What does perfect mean when we're discussing Munro? Because I guess I can admit that I don't have as much love as I have admiration for this writer. Of the later, I have copious amounts. I don't want to understate that and thus invite misunderstanding. I think she's one of a kind, and she deserves all the laurels she gets. But I read her dutifully and without craving. Of course it's never very long before I'm engrossed and wondering why I don't read more Munro. But it never quite hits me where I live. As they say.
Should perfection be something fiction aspires to?
Does perfect fiction suggest one of those problematic but often fruitful conflations of a subjective model for a universal one? There's no subjectivity like the one so passionately experienced, so eager to be manifest for others, as the one that believes it is universal.