Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Another Hatchet Job

Judging a round of the Morning News Tournament of Books 2006, critic Dale Peck swings his hatchet again:

"In an essay in Hatchet Jobs, I referred to fiction as the engine of capitalism. After reading Ian McEwan’s Saturday and Ali Smith’s The Accidental, I think I was being generous, at least as regards novels being written now. The truth is, contemporary fiction’s nothing more than an enabler of certain bourgeois illusions. At least McEwan seems to understand this; Smith doesn’t even pretend to a dialectic...But speaking more generally—hell, you’re all just waiting for the pull quote anyway—books like these make me want to join al Qaeda. It’s not so much the books themselves that make me wish our way of life would come to an end sooner rather than later, but, rather, the fact that seemingly intelligent and educated people find reasons to praise them."


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