Wednesday, November 13, 2013


From: HDtrainwreck

"Literary fiction is dead – or if not dead then finished, according to the Goldsmiths prize-shortlisted writer Lars Iyer, who argues it has become a 'repertoire, like The Nutcracker at Christmas' and suggests that novelists should spread the word that 'the time for literary novels is over.' But literary fiction has always been dead, has always needed the mould-breaking writing which the Goldsmiths prize celebrates.
     Ever since its birth, writers have been suspicious of the novel, reaching for the authenticity of the real – often presenting their work as memoir, à la Robinson Crusoe. For Scheherazade, storytelling is, literally, a stay of execution. For the rest of us, it is merely a pastime; a distraction from our ultimate destruction. Ashamed of its frivolity, fiction drapes itself in the gravitas of non-fiction.
     If literature needs to be something more than just storytelling, then perhaps one could argue with Maurice Blanchot that it only truly becomes grown-up when it 'becomes a question' hanging over the space separating it from the world. By showing its sleight of hand, the novel can live up to Adorno's definition of art as 'magic delivered from the lie of being truth,' but it loses its innocence in the process. No longer is it possible for a serious novelist to go back to the 'good old days' when – as Gombrowicz put it – one could write 'as a child might pee against a tree.'"
— Andrew Gallix, The Guardian Books Blog
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