Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Flatpack fiction

Robert McCrum bewails the state of the contemporary fiction. According to a literary editor in the U.S., there is a new criterion for the successful novel. "A new novel should be summarised in a single sentence, and should stop dinner party conversation for at least 10 minutes".

He calls it the IKEA novel, "competently written in a simulacrum of fine writing", but unfortunately it is "not original, and not distinctive, and with an inner vision of humanity ..it was invented to please a market and to make money."

What would have become, asks McCrum, of Heart of Darkness or Ulyssess in such a world?

Observer Review, 13.11.11

Feeling the future?

"So often one's writing is prophetic. When you write, you are in touch with another force, not the everyday force you employ, you retreat so deep into yourself, you don't suspect those feelings had been there". Anita Desai in conversation with her daughter, Kiran Desai (Guardian Review, A Life in Writing, 12.11.11)

Glasgow School of Art - intentional ruin

I passed GSA today and saw how demolition teams are tearing down the ugly modernist blocks opposite Charles Rennie Macintosh's sublime Art School.

Quite a sight, and one that must pluck a heartstring or two, considering alll the labour, angst and creativity that has gone on in these studio buildings. Do buildings contain memories, as some believe?