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.


  1. Anonymous3:57 pm

    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...

  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.

  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…

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

  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?

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



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