HD and Modernism

So – Hal Duncan and Modernism. Well, his writing (particularly ‘Vellum’, as I’ve still got to sit down properly with ‘Ink’) is profoundly modernist in structure, relying on fractured narratives, parallels between individual sub-narratives, broad, deep allusiveness and massive stylistic experimentation to communicate meaning. But it avoids the worst excesses of High Modernist mandarin-ism throughContinue reading “HD and Modernism”

Becoming Norma Desmond

Out and about on Wednesday night (at an event run by the estimable Poet in the City, which everyone should know about – they do fantastic poetry events round the City of London), and, as it does in pubs, the conversation turned to fantasy and sf. As it also does when you’re around people-whose-genre-is-literary, someoneContinue reading “Becoming Norma Desmond”

(Un)Real city

Just been reading over yesterday’s post about Zola, and I realised that there’s an unstated assumption about the actual process of writing underlying it. I don’t think that any writer pulls something from nothing. Rather, I think that the act of writing is an act of interpretation. Details of the world are pulled into fictionContinue reading “(Un)Real city”

Reality’s a fantasy

Just finished Zola’s ‘L’Assomoir’ (‘The Drinking Den’), and once again been pondering the fantasy / reality gap. Zola saw himself as a Realist; closely allied with the Impressionists, he sought to create a prose equivalent to their vivid, journalistic depictions of everyday Parisian life. Zola and the Impressionists broke cultural and aesthetic taboos, and bothContinue reading “Reality’s a fantasy”