"BAD PAPER: The Bursting of the Fiction Bubble"

read it here.

December 10, 2008

Again on "Consciousness" and the Novel


"Again and again, the speech-attribution tags return us to the surface of the page.  They remind us that it’s writing we’re looking at.  In the absence of these repetitions, Bernhard’s narratives might read more like conventional free indirect discourse.  Their insistent interruptions, however, do more than merely answer the question of 'Who speaks?' (or 'Who thinks?' or 'Who writes?').  So far are they in excess of that function that they confound the question itself.  They take us out of the narcissistic pseudo-profounds of identification and put us back on the surface.  Their report highlights nothing so much as their own stubborn, interminable materiality." 

For more on this counter-aesthetics, see also "'The Viewer is Diverted', or, The Handke-Effekt" and "The Handke-Effekt II." 

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