Sunday, 25 December 2016

Postmodern Brookner

Brookner tended to avoid conflict, not to say contact, with her literary peers, but Martin Amis expressed deep annoyance at her review of his novel Night Train. Brookner had written:

It may be post-modem; it is certainly post-human. There are few facts that are without disclaimers, few acts that are unambiguous. To read it is to undergo a temporary brain dysfunction […] a narrative which sets out to celebrate the demotic but ends up so out of hand that it is experienced as an assault on the reader's good faith.
Spectator, 26 September 1997

Brookner distrusted postmodernism ('Updike goes post-modern,' (Spectator 27 February 1993) she commented uncertainly, in her review of Memories of the Ford Administration). One hears less about postmodernism nowadays, but it was all the rage when I was young. And Brookner's postmodern novel? Surely Incidents in the Rue Laugier?

...those few notations - 'Dames Blanches. La Gaillarderie. Place des Ternes. Sang. Edward' - around which I have constructed this fantasy ... And it is a fantasy: I have no idea what any of it means... (Ch, 15)

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