"BAD PAPER: The Bursting of the Fiction Bubble"

read it here.

September 19, 2008

James Wood's mental universe in six metaphors:

1)  “Novel writing has an entrepreneurial element:  to invent a central story which can function simultaneously as a plausible action and as an emblematic or symbolic one is akin to inventing a new machine or product, a patent that will run and run.” 

(Good writers are like plucky entrepreneurs.) 

2)  “Unreliable narration is almost entrepreneurially efficient:  once the novelist has set up his stall, he can syndicate his technique in chapter after chapter.” 


3)  “Realism produces surrealism; it funds its own defaulters.”  

(Realism is like a bank.) 

4)  Realism is a lenient tutor; it schools its own truants.”  

(But sometimes realism needs to be like a schoolmaster, too.) 

5)  “It is precisely what the novel-form exists for, how it justifies its difference as a genre, earns its genre-salary.”  

(The novel is a white-collar employee.)

6) "Aesthetics, I believe, does not really exist - it is always a form of criticism - and so all aesthetic arguments need to stop at local stations.  The discussion of specific works is the only valid aesthetics."  

(Criticism is a kind of trainspotting.)

No comments: