Let me highly recommend this essay, which is a review of Mary Swanâ€™s book The Boys in the Trees but contains an interesting analysis of â€œcosmic realismâ€, a new strain of literary-ness perpetuated by the likes of Marilynne Robinson and Annie Dillard.
On the basis of these rhythms, the cosmic realist novel develops a distinct syntax of its own. Typically, the prose is lyrical and crispâ€“rich without being lavish, sumptuous but not florid. These books find the fewest strokes with which to paint the freshest image. â€œShe watched blue shadows on his white shirt stretch and shrink as he moved,â€ Dillard writes. But the economy of language is not merely pretty. It calls to mind the classical Chinese poetsâ€“ like them, commanding attention by demanding it. This prose promises to be experienced as poetry. It engrosses when it engages.