Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crusade for Modernism

I  continue my crusade in support of Josipovici though now it seems it means taking on a mighty opponent - the literary pages of the Guardian!

The English continue their love affair with their perceived giants - Amis, McEwan et al.    Nicholas Lezard's choice of the week was The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis on whom he lavishes praise commenting on the 'dazzling artistry of his style'.   While Amis writes with a certain cleverness and wit, there is little challenge, depth or innovation in his novels.   The characters do not surprise any more than the plots.   Lezard maintains that this novel is 'much more than a novel about the passing of time, or missed opportunities, or wasted talent.   Although it is all those things too'.   Well, what is the 'much more' please Nicholas!

In the same paper, Ian McEwan maintains that he has become over the years 'consciously, expressively aware of the traditions of the English novel, the treasures that are laid up for us by the great 19th century expositors of character and psychology' on which he draws for his work.  And who does he specifically cite?   Austen and Agatha Christie.   In rebuttal can I mention Joyce, Beckett and Flann O'Brien - the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of modern literature [as they were recently referred to].  

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