Category Archives: patterns

The death of the subject

A lot of the time I can’t deal with stressful novels. It took me several run-ups before I was able to career and carom through Kafka’s┬áThe Trial:┬áseveral-less-one false starts followed by a particularly relaxed few weekends. More generally my nerves … Continue reading

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The death of the author

When I find an artist – author, musician, painter – who excites me completely, from head to toe, it sometimes suits my appreciation of their work if they’re long since dead. I know that sounds ghoulish, but it isn’t meant … Continue reading

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What’s my problem?

My problem is that my ability to write has a distinctly muscular flavour: not in the sense that such as Hemingway might write in a muscular fashion; but that I have to exercise it, or it wastes away. Do it … Continue reading

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Three proud hypocrisies

In Vanity Fair, Thackeray continues to refer to the most morally upstanding member of his bizarre collection of characters as a hypocrite: Conducted to the ladies, at the Ship Inn, Dobbin assumed a jovial and rattling manner, which proved that … Continue reading

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All those endless ends that can’t be tied

Guenther Grass writes about the second world war, by actually writing about his campaign trail during the 1969 German elections. But the star of his memoir-cum-novel—not himself, but Doubt, the man at his shoulder—keeps appearing in Grass’ present. Flashbacks rub … Continue reading

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I Heart Johnson

The smashing B.S. Johnson once wrote a novel of sorts, called—well, let’s be frank, all of his books were novels of sorts. The Unfortunates, however, was published largely unbound (I think chapters may have been bound together in booklets, but … Continue reading

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Eliotist

Four Quartets frightens me. The effect it has, an hallucinogenic acting not on my perceptions but my perceiving mechanisms. Early mornings into work, and now walking along the sea front at Alcocebre, are now forever accompanied by FQ. The moments … Continue reading

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