Monday, June 09, 2014

Critical Perspectives on Gabriel Josipovici

Revue LISA, a print journal published by the University of Rennes, has a very welcome edition dedicated to the work of Gabriel Josipovici. It is also online.

Readers new to his fiction and criticism would do well to read Vesna Main's Beyond the "Grammar", in which the grammar is "the formulaic apparatus of most novels", and Victoria Best's very moving essay on The Cost of Creativity in his work.

The editor Marcin Stawiarski is also organising Zig Zag, Twist and Turn, a conference on Josipovici's work, to be held at Dalarna University in Sweden this September. Stawiarski has also conducted an interview for the edition containing answers that might surprise those who associate Josipovici with Modernist convolutions:
MS: You say that to be able to write you need two things: on the one hand, the feeling that something must be said; on the other, the feeling that it’s impossible to say it. So that that very impossibility becomes the subject of your work. Is it a form of a writer’s block? Or is there more to it than that?
GJ: No, it’s very simple. Most of the important feelings we have are too deep and complex for words — the feeling of loss, for example, or elation. Or ordinary little things like the effect of sunlight on a brick wall as one walks by. If one is struck by something like that — a big thing like the loss of a loved person, a small thing like sunlight on a brick wall — one wants to find a way of expressing that. It’s not easy. But it’s the only thing that interests me.
France and Sweden seem to be far ahead in recognising the value of one of England's finest writers. Oh, and his new novel Hotel Andromeda is published this week by Carcanet.

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