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.”

Fighting Fiction with Fiction

Bethanie Blanchard, “This Week in Books,” Guardian Australia Culture Blog Sunday 17 November 2013

Lars Iyer, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths prize — an award celebrating innovation in the form of the novel — has argued that the time for literary novels is over. In an interesting response, Andrew Gallix considers the death of realist literary fiction and the uncertainty of its future. “Literature only coincides with itself when it claims to be what it is not. As soon as it acknowledges its made-up nature, the novel looks back at itself in anger; becomes its own worst enemy,” he writes. Gallix highlights the historical development of the form of the novel, the limitations of mimetic storytelling, and the uncertain way forward for “fighting fiction with fiction”.