Paid by the Impenetrable Paragraph

(This is priceless: the nincompoop can’t even get my name right!)

David Blackburn, “Pigeons, Pros and Amateurs.” The Spectator, 11 January 2012

… Reading the book made me recall the story of Kingsley Amis throwing a copy of his son Martin’s book, Money, across the room in frustration, and I wondered how the old devil might have dispatched of Kelman’s opus.

All of which brings me to this piece by Alex Gallix about the death of literature. This exhaustive and exhausting navel gaze will irritate all but the interested, but its value lies in sketching the recent history of literary theory. Equally, it’s a fine example of what our friends at the Omnivore think is wrong with literary criticism and book reviewing as one commenter on Gallix’s piece cuttingly put it, ‘Was he paid by the impenetrable paragraph?’. Theory often has that effect on people.

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