Laura Miller defends the novels of Dan Brown and Stieg Larsson. She uses this quote from C.S. Lewis as the cornerstone of her argument:

[Bad writing] is immediately recognizable. 'My blood ran cold' is a hieroglyph of fear. Any attempt, such as a great writer might make, to render this fear concrete in its full particularity, is doubly a chokepear to the unliterary reader. For it offers him what he doesn't want, and offers it only on the condition of his giving to the words a kind and degree of attention which he does not intend to give. It is like trying to sell him something he has no use for at a price he does not wish to pay.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.