I finish the week with this review of Lavie Tidhar’s Osama. The review first appeared in Bull Spec 7 (Spring 2012). Continue reading
Angela Carter, C.P. Snow, Carter Scholz, Charles Dickens, Charles Harness, Clifford D. Simak, Connie Willis, Don DeLillo, Frank Herbert, Gregory Benford, Iain Pears, Ian McEwan, Ian Watson, John Banville, Jonathan Swift, Lucius Shepard, Michael Crichton, Nancy Kress, Pamela Zoline, Piers Anthony, Rafael Carter, Roger Zelazny, Russell McCormmach, Thomas More, William Boyd
Another of my Cognitive Mapping columns. This one first appeared in Vector 211, May-June 2000.
Brian McHale, Christine Brook-Rose, Christopher Priest, Don DeLillo, E.L. Doctorow, Frederic Jameson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Geoffrey Chaucer, Henry James, Iain Banks, James Joyce, John Fowles, Katherine Dunn, Kathy Acker, Kim Newman, Kurt Vonnegut, Laurence Sterne, Miguel de Cervantes, Paul Auster, Richard Jefferies, Robert Coover, Samuel R. Delany, Steve Erickson, Thomas Pynchon, Virginia Woolf, William Gibson, William S. Burroughs, William Vollman
Bruce Olds, Charles S. Peirce, D.H. Lawrence, Don DeLillo, E.L. Doctorow, E.M. Forster, Gary Wills, Grover Cleveland, Harold Evans, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, John Brown, Oswald Garrison Villard, Owen Wister, Robert Coover, Robert Heinlein, Russell Banks, Steve Erickson, Steven Millhouser, William Gibson, William James
This was one of those I wrote for no reason other than that I loved Russell Banks’s novel, Cloudsplitter (1998) so much. I think I did try sending it out once, though without any great expectation, and I briefly considered including it in my first collection of essays, but in truth the only place this ever appeared previously was in an apa. It’s an essay that grows out of my interest in the American Civil War, so there’s no science fiction here, but there is philosophy, which suggests a sort of continuity. Continue reading
There was a marvellous review by Andrew O’Hagan of Don DeLillo’s Falling Man in The New York Review of Books. It is the sort of clear, well constructed, beautifully argued review that I envy, that I wish I could write myself. It places Falling Man very precisely in the context of DeLillo’s other work: the fascination with manifestations of terrorism, the idea of violence as public spectacle. You can see the forebears of the novel in Libra and Mao II and the sections on the Kennedy assassination in Underworld. But O’Hagan also uses this history of DeLillo’s work as a way of placing the story of the 9/11 hijackers, of providing another real-world context for the novel. In the end, O’Hagan says, DeLillo was always working towards 9/11, and when it actually happened there was nothing left for him to say. Falling Man, from this perspective, should have been silence. It is a poor book because it can only deal with what has already usurped DeLillo’s subject.
It is a wonderful review – and I think it is wrong. Continue reading