Thursday, March 31, 2011

The whole context of a person

One further postscript: I am slightly relieved that I do not need to muster my attention to write a proper bit about Teju Cole's fantastically good novel Open City - at the New Yorker, James Wood wrote pretty much exactly what I would have said if I weren't so lazy!

I especially loved the "intensely Sebaldian" aspect of the book, and of course also the narrator's "well-stocked mind" (to borrow a few choice Woodean phrases); I defy you to read the review and not feel that this is a novel that must be read, but that will also be uniquely pleasurable to read! Another of Wood's sentences partly explains why I read this book in a sort of fanatical state of breathless attention, feeling that it had been written peculiarly and particularly for me out of all possible readers: "This is one of the very few scenes I have encountered in contemporary fiction in which critical and literary theory is not satirized, or flourished to exhibit the author’s credentials, but is simply and naturally part of the whole context of a person."

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