Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kate Zambreno on the "rules of fiction"

"Oh, fuck you Joyce Carol Oates, fuck you and your Marilyn Monroe novel. Seriously, it makes me crazy when mass market authors get so uncomfortable about experimental or postmodern writing, writing that is about ideas, that is wild, political, plays with form,not meant to be consumed in a paperback at an airport bookstore. You know who's on this Guardian list, for the most part? People who write "fiction" who treat it as a "craft" who play cult to the sentence (looking at you, Zadie Smith) and the tired ideas of dead babies."

Also - I'm fling out at 10:30 tomorrow morning!


Andrea said...

I've never read any Joyce Carol Oates but there was something in the paper the other day about how literary fiction had descended into some kind of middlebrow sentimentalilty and inoffensiveness, which I kind of agree with.

Fling out? I guess you meant flying - either way have a safe trip :)

Ross Brighton said...

Damn. I can't type! I was heading out the door when I posted that though.
Yeah, I totally agree with that too.
There are some fantastic writers of fiction out there, but they never seem to get the coverage (hence Kate's "Guardian" comments - here I'd say Listener - but that goes for poetry too. The "best of 2009" lists were pathetic - and, unlike fiction, there was nothing international - as if we can't compete on that level).

Andrea said...

I think work has given me some unnatural speed typing abilities but I definitely do plenty of typos too!

I'm not criticizing fiction as a whole, because there is good stuff - but I agree the coverage is skewed and that is particularly apparent with poetry.

The regular poetry columns in some papers are just all New Zealand books which is interesting enough to read about, but the comparison needs to be made to overseas stuff - there needs to be a mix.

Oh and on an irrelevant to this post note, I missed your radio show - too tired, pathetic I know. You don't have an mp3 of it?

Ross Brighton said...

I don't, but I may be able to get one. I'll try.

Ross Brighton said...

Michael's going to post me a link as soon as it's uploaded, so i'll be linking to it from here.

Andrea said...

Oh, cool! I'd like to hear it. I'm quite interested in some of that sound poetry stuff.

There was a cool sounding album from some Swedish text/sound artist, 1970s I think, on the latest Eclipse update that sounded cool, but it was like $70US for a cd-r and book - I guess it must be quite rare.

Ross Brighton said...

I ended up playing heaps of post-punk and Black Metal - didn't get anything of UBUweb for it. Though if you browse through threre it's pretty awesome (www.ubu.com)

Andrea said...

I'm just downloading it now!

Well I like post-punk and I'm always up for hearing something a bit different - yes, I must have another look at Ubu.