Thursday, July 29, 2010
• Tom McCarthy's Guardian article on technology and the novel is worth a read, and is also a good reminder of how funny Marinetti's Futurist manifestoes were (the Italian Fascism that came later wasn't quite as funny). There's shades of William Gaddis's proposed history of the player piano in the article, except that McCarthy celebrates the posthumanism that Gaddis despised. Regardless, I'm keen to have a look at C, McCarthy's new novel, which has been compared to Thomas Pynchon (by his publisher, at least) and is the only book on the longlist for the Booker in which I have any interest. (Every year I think the Booker can't get any more boring, and every year I am proven wrong. But that being said, I guess it's nice that they throw a few bones to the colonials.)
• If you're ashamed of your Amazon Kindle, you need be ashamed no more: you can now disguise it as a newspaper with this fancy sleeve. You could, of course, also just use an actual newspaper.
• The personal library of David Markson has been put on sale at the Strand Bookstore in NYC. It's a shame no research libraries bought the collection--kids these days!
• Here's a quick review of Cesar Aira's The Literary Conference, a book that is apparently about attempting to clone Carlos Fuentes(!). I've read two of Aira's books this year (How I Became a Nun and An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter); both were brilliant and wonderful, but also completely different from each other. This one's meant to be even more strange. Hey Readings, why don't you have this in stock yet? Oh, right, that parallel importation thing. OK.
• 'Feted British authors are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied, says leading academic. Gabriel Josipovici dismisses the portrayal of Barnes, Rushdie and co as modern literary giants.' I suppose it's surprising that this is surprising; this Guardian article offers a nice little bit of schadenfreude, but it also seems like a lot of name-calling and ad hominem attacks. I agree these authors don't seem as interesting as they did a decade ago, but really the interesting question is to ask why this is the case.
Posted by Emmett Stinson at 2:35 PM