Τετάρτη, 17 Μαρτίου 2010

Άρθρο του James Wood


Λογοτεχνία, ρεαλισμός, συμβατικότητα


The New Yorker 15.03.2010 (USA)

"Keeping it Real" is the title of James Wood's review of Chang-Rae Lee's new novel "The Surrendered", which spans half a century and three continents. By way of an introduction, Woods examines literary conventions, Roland Barthes' "reality effect", and David Shields' book "Reality Hunger: A Manifesto", which is a passionate plea for what Shields calls "reality-based art." Wood finds it difficult to decide whether or not literature is making progress: "Convention may be boring, but it is not untrue simply because it is conventional. People do lie on their beds and think with shame about all that has happened during the day (at least, I do), or order a beer and a sandwich and open their computers; they walk in and out of rooms, they talk to other people (and sometimes, indeed, feel themselves to be talking inside quotation marks); and their lives do possess more or less traditional elements of plotting and pacing, of suspense and revelation and epiphany. Probably there are more coincidences in real life than in fiction. To say 'I love you' is to say something at millionth hand, but it is not, then, necessarily to lie. All life is conventional in various ways, like narrative; postmodernists as different as Thomas Pynchon and Steven Millhauser use many conventional narrative elements (sometimes as parody, and sometimes not).

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