On the Slow Writing Movement

Eva Orúe, “Slowhand es un artista, pero no (siempre) el que crees,” infoLibre 19 March 2017:

Cierto es que escribir no es lo que era. Trabajar con ordenadores y procesadores de texto permite a los autores juntar palabras más rápido que nunca, e Internet les brinda la oportunidad de publicar de manera instantánea, sin esperar a que un editor dé el plácet a tu texto. Consecuencia de lo cual es, sostiene el escritor Andrew Gallix, que lo que hoy pasa por narrativa publicable, “hace sólo unos años habría sido considerado si acaso como un borrador temprano”. De ahí que su propuesta de crear un Slow Writing Movement (SWM) a imagen (literaria) del fenómeno Slow Food, lanzada medio en serio medio en broma, quizá merezca una nueva oportunidad.

Doomed Quest

Ira Solomatina, “Fashion’s History of the Patch,” Sleek 4 August 2016:

The first sub-culture to subvert the patch was the hippies in the 1960s, whose patchwork clothes were laden with references to ethnic styles. However, it was the punks who really made it their own. As writer Andrew Gallix puts it, “The evolution of punk fashion was the doomed quest for authenticity” — hence why their bold DIY-aesthetic was opposed to all things conventional.

La Fayette Revisited

Erin Blakemore, “France’s Famous High School Exam Will Soon Feature Its First Woman Author,” Smithsonian 21 March 2017:

…But the novella isn’t La Fayette’s most famous work. That would be The Princess of Cleves, a dramatic novel that’s widely cited as France’s first historical novel. The book became a big deal in France again in 2009, when France’s then-president, Nicolas Sarkozy, mocked its inclusion on the civil service exam. As The Guardian‘s Andrew Gallix reported at the time, the president’s public hatred of the book turned it into a political symbol and short-lived bestseller.

A Quest for the Quotidian

An extract from my review of Claire-Louise Bennett‘s Pond was quoted in Guardian Australia‘s “December literary picks” published on 10 December 2016:

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett (Picador)

Guardian reviewer Andrew Gallix wrote of this collection of 20 stories:

Reading them is an immersive experience. We come to share the “savage swarming magic” the narrator feels under her skin by focusing at length on her “mind in motion” … One of the most striking aspects of this extraordinary book is how well we get to know the narrator — whose brain and body we inhabit — yet how little we know about her. We don’t even learn her name …

What Bennett aims at is nothing short of a re-enchantment of the world. Everyday objects take on a luminous, almost numinous, quality through the examination of what Emerson called “the low, the common, the near” or the exploration of Georges Perec’s “infra-ordinary” — a quest for the quotidian.”
pondaustralia

Albert Camus’ Counterfeit Manuscript

My review of Alice Kaplan‘s Looking for ‘The Outsider’: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic appears in the November 2016 issue of the Literary Review.

literaryreview

In July 1944 Albert Camus produced a counterfeit manuscript of his debut novel, The Outsider, published two years earlier. Josette Clotis, André Malraux’s partner, read the text aloud while Camus took it down in longhand, introducing the odd crossed-out variant to lend it the air of an early draft. In Looking for ‘The Outsider’, Alice Kaplan outlines this ingenious scam, born of wartime austerity, but does not say whether it proved successful or not. All the same, it speaks volumes about the book it sought to cash in on. The Outsider had already outgrown its title, acquiring the aura of a canonical work. Camus was now in a position to turn Bouvard and Pécuchet’s lowly profession — that of the copy clerk — into gold. All he had to do was replicate his near-indecipherable microscript, originally developed in response to an acute paper shortage. …