Hey guys, I'm thinking of picking up a copy of pic related.
Can anyone suggest some more contemporary literature (2000-present) worth reading?
I read Banville's Mefisto and it was good if you're into Faust myths. He seemed like he had some interesting things to say and The Sea is supposed to be his most acclaimed book so go for it.
I always feared, perhaps irrationally, that Ishiguro was just a classic middle-brow patrician spilling out stylistically conservative novels with enough skill and know-how to rack up a bit of critical acclaim among Guardianistas without rocking the boat too hard.
I will rectify my ignorance and presumptuousness at once. Where do you suggest I start?
Remains of the Day or The Buried Giant.
The Unconsoled is his most patrician work but you might need to ease into it. Or just go for it but it's quite different from his other stuff.
Teju Cole - Open City
Jennifer Egan - A Visit From the Goon Squad
Zadie Smith - White Teeth
Cormac McCarthy - The Road
Elena Ferrante - Days of Abandonment
all 3 Pynchon novels published this century are great, don't let /lit/ tell you otherwise
Ishiguro is brilliant, one of my favorite living authors. He could reasonably be called stylistically conservative in that his novels are very easy to read, but vary wildly in content. Remains of the Day is a good starting point, Never Let Me Go would be fine too. I like both Buried Giant and The Unconsoled but both have a mixed reception here and elsewhere...both very strange and interesting books though.
McCarthy and Roth of course
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Obioma's The Fishermen
The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami
My old English teacher from high school who I send some of my writing to tells me I write a bit like Banville, "You write like an Irish writer, words tumbling after one another in some kind of rhythm" was about what he said.
I'm conflicted over whether I should read Banville or not. I would feel enormously terrible if I read him and subconsciously started affecting my style to his.
Sorry, excuse me, pardon me. Stupid American, here. What is a Guardianista? Someone who reads The Guardian over there in jolly ol' England, ay?
Seriously, though. Is that what you meant?
Sebald is top tier, but only barely 2000s.
I kind of agree with anon re some of those though. Tartt is a competent plotsmith with no significant message. Similarly, Roth goes for fancy prose often with shit all to back it up, especially late Roth. Knausgard on the other hand is just badly written (apparently also in the original). McCarthy has churned out a lot of shite to obscure his good stuff. And Yanighara is beneath contempt.
If "middle brow" is defined by a book's audience rather than its content, perhaps. Way to duck both of my points though. Confirmed for having never read Quignard or even the author you claim to have recommended, Thirlwell.
Yes, it essentially just means someone who reads The Guardian. The implication is that the paper - pandering to the left-of-center, university educated, middle-aged demographic that largely comprises its readership - promotes a very timorous, middle-brow brand of literature that is sufficiently skillful to qualify as "good" without upsetting progressive sensibilities. Think: Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Hilary Mantel.
Then you're even more of a faggot then I previously thought. I had assumed that post was made by some other Anon taking the piss out of you.
I made these three posts >>7560295 >>7560307 >>7560319 and I have actually read every author I mentioned (except I haven't finished the entire series from the second post). I suggest limiting your criticism to the handful of authors you've actually read in future.
> sufficiently skillful to qualify as "good" without upsetting progressive sensibilities
This... means nothing. you acknowledge the presence of skill, but put good in inverted commas as if the ability to write well and the quality of writing were totally different. And imply that if a writer has a specific political position they are automatically bad. I don't even like the writers you've cited, but if that's what middlebrow is it's just inverted snobbery.
Dude, relax. Your list isn't horrible. It's just a guy trolling you.
You do have to understand Knausgaard is just one big walking publicity stunt, though. Not good. Scratch that shit off there.
>You do have to understand Knausgaard is just one big walking publicity stunt, though.
I don't follow celebrity gossip so I know nothing about any publicity stunts except that he said some critical things about the political climate in Sweden. I am aware that he's popular and that's all.
I just finished A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James and that was good, even though it loses steam towards the end and just becomes a well written crime drama.
I also read Submission by Houellebecq, Compass by Énard and 2084 by Sansal last year and they were all good, although Compass was a bit ponderous.
I'm going to read City on Fire by Hallberg next. I was initially put off by his middlename literally being "Risk" and the rockstar publishing advance he was given, but people I trust have vouched for it.
Well just the fact that he called the book, "My Struggle," could tell you enough why he's just an overgrown edgelord. Every picture he takes should tell you another. Then the book itself is basically just a diary where he puts the edgiest shit he could think about and then unashamedly embarrassed the shit out of his family for his own gain. So, of course, places like The New Yorker and The Times jump all over that shit. Then again, it just outlines how bad literary criticism is these days that someone would actually compare it to Proust. I'd bet they hadn't read it or Proust and just saw the number of pages and went, "hurr durr, dis be good"
I put good in inverted commas to draw attention to the fact that I wasn't writing GREAT. Your typical Guardian reader is, on balance, more intelligent than the so-called "Man on the Street", but is still quite artistically and philosophically diminutive. Anything too "out there" might be dismissed as "weird" or "pretentious" by a Guardianista, who prefers to be titillated by conventionally written novels about multiculturalism, identity politics (the plight of women, the plight of homosexuals, the plight of Muslims etc.,), the corrosive effects of Thatcherism and so on.
Salman Rushie, say, is by no means a bad writer, in fact, yes, he's a good writer; but not great, or new (i.e. pushing the boat out either stylistically or thematically), and so not necessarily worthy of my rather limited time.
So middlebrow = marginally to very talented author that is popular and has had some stumbles, and/or has been acknowledged due to being acceptable either in their person or their content to the Guardian or major awards panels?
may this meme never catch on
Ruth Ozeki - A Tale for the Time Being
Indra Sinha - Animal's People
Not same level, but this seems like a good thread for this. I just read Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story, which I thought was pretty good. What does /lit/ think of it?
I am not okay with the Ozeki. It has that very contemporary failing of being self conscious for its own sake. The amount of time in the book spent describing "Ruth Ozeki" and her reactions to the events of the actual story is unforgiveable - what content there was in that thread could have been tackled in two chapters.
Also, people need to stop using QUANTUM as an excuse for magic.
so in England what do you call someone who reads 4chan, has no university education, is young, poor and uses literature to make-believe thrust himself into a level of class, culture, and status he will never have?
That's the only one of Banville's that I read and I loved it. I didn't expect it to be half as funny as it was. I fucking love preening/pretentious narrators. What else should I go for? I picked up a signed copy of the blue guitar for a tenner a week or two ago.
nothing new is good you have to go back a bit for a nyuthng good sometimes something is alright, but its all in relation to other terrible things, I would also add that sthe qholw ainxwew ISWa ia juar Qy ro wxuaw lXK OD PEOAW ns powret nor rgR nyibw xEWAM TIY USUIRAM bs kwtra fi vXJ RI QGWB RGUBFA QWEW FIIS
I have a few days beforehand the best of luck to all the time of their respective companies. I don't know if you are progressing well and good luck with your friends and family members and friends of friends and relatives of the most amazing person and you will find the right place to stay in the world of difference. the protagonists are not the intended for use on the internet the same time as a result of the fetishizing of ethnic group of friends and family members and their children to get the best of all of your gear stolen from my experience with the same way that you are looking for.