Tuesday, December 29, 2009

this year in literature

since i find the end of the year to be an excellent time for reflection, it is certainly and definitely probable that i will have to review what has happened in this past year.

so now we come to literature, a topic on which i have much to say and all of it definitively bold in flavor. i probably did not read a single book in the year 2009 that was published in the year 2009. as such, i find it necessary to fabricate a number of books for this segment.

the blueberry triumph
by rolanda smelting

i found most scenes in this novel to be emotional, but in the way that attending a premier of your roommate's film is emotional when he was most likely left out of the end credits because he stole the director's necktie. you keep wanting something important to happen, or at least to get the sense of a possibility something will happen. instead, you find yourself sliding in and out of lucidity as you either slept too long or ate more than one bag of something that looks like shrimp if swedish fish were shaped like crustaceans.

everyone in the future wears foam watches
by lalliopreten delbn

most of my favorite books have several distinct themes. i often find it useful to read critical essays on the books before digesting the original text, because that way i know what not to think. in the end,,,however, it is most likely that i end up concluding there were more themes that the original critics missed, and in the case of this book, i detected at least three more than the zero i had read in the material that prepared me for the novel itself. ghostly images embedded in cathode ray tubes. nighttime grooming habits of security guards. the texture of ribbed cotton. when ideas like this inform a novel not just in form but in content, i am almost immediately able to abandon my idea of what to expect and give myself completely to the author. in fact, i send my sincere congratulations to delbn for convincing me that i need to get back in the habit of preparing for all possibilities. not to give too much away, but there aren't a lot of people in the future.

by lart rob

rob has become one of my favorite authors simply by defying my expectations. specifically, he boldly refuses to do anything that strikes me as impressive, and that is what has won me over so completely to his style of prose. i have a great deal of affection for authors with certain aesthetic features to their work, but rob has the daring to write in a way that seemingly fits in with every experience in any person's life. his refusal to bow to conventions of literary elitism allows him to cleverly explore situations familiar to many of his readers. rather than puzzling over our experiences because they are presented in a way that reflects our lives from a different angle, we puzzle because we see nothing at all unusual. in rob's fictional world, we become the author and our lives become literature. this is a book you put down, only to fall more completely into its fiction, struggling forever to find your way back.

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