Sunday, May 11, 2008

More disconnection

When, the other day, I quoted two bloggers' headline summaries of Thomas Bernhard and his work in order to report on the dedicated PEN event, and then said I didn't recognise my Thomas Bernhard in their descriptions, it wasn't meant as a criticism. Only after Bill Marx replied did I hear negative overtones. (One thing that annoys me about my hampering passion for concision is the countervailing demand for clarification and qualification flaring from every bloggin' sentence). Instead, I wrote it as an expression of puzzlement. Another example:
The novel seems the perfect form to examine what has happened in real life, the things that have deeply affected ordinary people and reflected the times they lived in.
David Peace quoted in The Guardian. Disconnection perhaps because the novel is also the absence of time; an eternal interval, and therefore unease with such apparent trust in stories (necessary no doubt to be eligible for the Potato Head British Book Awards). I've written before about the deep affect of stories.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:41 am

    I wonder if novels, for Peace, are the "perfect form to examine what has happened in real life" because, as a form, they are incredibly loose and flexible? Anyway, art refers both to itself and "real life" so, at least some of the time, it can "examine" that life, I suppose. But examination seems a poor word for the tangential relationship art has to living. And the urge one detects beneath Peace's quote -- that reading novels is educational or improving or some such -- is banal.



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