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Comments on This Space: Writing off the disaster





Updated: 2018-01-10T09:05:35.102+00:00

 



Anthony, I suppose my tongue was slipping in and o...

2007-07-02T21:18:00.000+01:00

Anthony, I suppose my tongue was slipping in and out of my cheek when I wrote that. But there was the qualification that such a novel should be "an attempt to understand" - in the way that, say, Beckett's Unnamable is an attempt to understand - rather than presenting documentary evidence of others' lives or appropriating them into a fiction. It wouldn't be a major novel then, I suppose. One might call it a meditation on thwarted empathy. The title could be "Sunday".



'There might be a gap for a "major" novel about ou...

2007-07-02T13:30:00.000+01:00

'There might be a gap for a "major" novel about our relation to hidden lives, the lives of people for whom 9/11 is not an event about which to fetishise and to conspiratorialise, but part of a disastrous historical continuum'.

Would such a book be preferable to past 'post-9/11 novels' only because of its more congenial politics? I see the quotemarked 'major' - and the suspicion of the fictional-response genre that this indicates - but this post still seems an interesting exception to your staunch formalism. You picture the imagined tale's difference from recent releases as primarily thematic, yet you are also deeply sceptical about the 'childish' belief that novels aid education and social progress (sorry if I'm wrong there). So do you really want or need a nuanced fictionalisation of the up-until-now neglected continuum?

I enjoyed reading, as ever.



Perhaps one of the thriller specialists or rent-a-...

2007-06-24T23:42:00.000+01:00

Perhaps one of the thriller specialists or rent-a-lackey Martin Amis types might be so bold as to write a breathtaking work with convincing hard-boiled conversations between the main protagonists such as the charming Mr Cheney, as he & his brothers in arms planned the 911 attacks & then watched their successful enactment. And of course went on to reap the bountiful rewards of this job well done. I dunno... maybe a working title of 'A Few Very Good Men,' or 'Pandora's Box of Shite' perhaps.



"a novel based on an attempt to understand what po...

2007-06-23T22:36:00.000+01:00

"a novel based on an attempt to understand what polite literary society has up until now managed not to fictionalise: the crimes of our governments, media and corporations"

I'm working on it. It's taking some time. Polite literary society has its own navel-gazing to tend to rather than such things.