Oh, my, I’m certainly not suggesting everyone needs to write like Don DeLillo! Not at all. What I mean is that when writers actively try too hard to be funny or clever, or try too hard to be socially on point, it smacks (at least to me) of inauthenticity. Nothing inauthentic about Faulkner. But I don’t believe he set out to be a show off :)

As for the “kill your darlings”, I have always believed it to be wise to preface that with “Do not be afraid to…”.