Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nearly finished

"I believe the narrative form is very very tired." George Steiner soundbit by The Guardian. "Me pap!" cries a litblogger in response. Such is the future of criticism. Of course, Steiner has been saying such things for many years. Like the Austrian author he introduced to an English-speaking audience in 1975, he's a master of necessary exaggeration. All that's left now is the search for a narrative of exhaustion. Another one.

For help, see this three-part interview with WG Sebald posted at Vertigo: "The art really is in isolating yourself and letting as few things into your head as possible." So then, back to blogging.

6 comments:

  1. Welcome back. Picked up some Malamuds at the weekend. I say this here because I'm sure the original impulse came from you, and was then refreshed recently by another...

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  2. Thanks John. I haven't read more than a handful of his books but I've found some second-hand story collections recently. He has the restraint Steiner seems to favour in those comments.

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  3. Yes, welcome back.

    "We are overpowered by cliché.” Steiner is spot on, there.

    Recently picked up ‘Dubin’s Lives’ for £2.49 in an Oxfam shop…

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  4. Welcome back. Thanks for mentioning the Jens Mühling interview with Sebald I just ran on Vertigo. Not one cliche in the entire interview...

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  5. The life-long practise of writing hardens that already sclerotic, solipsistic shell, as we know. Hence, such pronouncements: "I believe the narrative form is very very tired." For whom, George?

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  6. What a shame he feels so tired. Perhaps he should drink an espresso and try reading again.

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