Thursday, 28 April 2011

A New Addition to the Links Sidebar

The Millions, which I stumbled across via a link on the 3AM blog, looks to be a very interesting litzine. So far I've only read this very interesting assesment of the critical momentum that's racked up around Tom McCarthy in the wake of Zadie Smith's rather over-enthusiastic assertion, in an influential essay in 2008, that he represented the future of the novel.  If this piece is anything to go by, then The Millions should be well worth checking out: a shame I didn't know of its existence sooner.       

1 comment:

The Editors said...


Thank you for this link, it's spot on where I was thinking about Smith's assessment of McCarthy in comparison to how his work actually reads. I would put him much further along towards experimentation than slipstream in how he writes, and even then he's behind on Toby Litt or China Miéville or Scarlett Thomas in terms of how he plays.

I don't entirely agree with Risk Hallberg's territorialising of avant and experimentation. The fact that manifestos are a dime a dozen doesn't mean that it's not acceptable to write in the mode, or that it's an exhausted form.

Also, Smith's essay is brilliant as an essay, even if she ended up hyping McCarthy. She's not to blame for the aping that other critics employ.

And I really like the pun of 'dead wood', which I'd missed, but Hallberg picks up on. Yet he frames it in the context of it being "an uncharacteristically juvenile pun", which to me works in Smith's favour: she is undermining expectations of her writing brilliantly, and Hallberg kind of falls into the trap of not being open-minded.

Yet, at the same time, I guess he's being polemical himself. I need to finish reading it.