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Review of Oblivion in the Guardian.

I think it rather misses the working-in-and-thru bland language to make something more character-residual-wise, preferring to think of all DFW-writing as a lame postmodern comment about how bland and uniform (monotone) our culture is, like duh, critic. Poole is of course right, from a particular point of view, but I think from the broader angle, and the train course of modern lit has to partly inform this, he must consider more than this. Bland language, when handled well and with precision, can shift the focus on beauty (prose-beauty) elsewhere. It is one of the few antidotes to PoMo literary navel-gazing. It still takes much talent to draw sympathetic characters and conscious-interactivity in this medium, as DFW does; the challenge is of course for Mr Poole to attempt something similar in fiction and see how easy it is for hisself. 
And yet Wallace can be very funny. Owing to the relentless maximalism of his writing, he is bound to write a good line here and there, simply according to the law of averages. But the amount of jokes in Oblivion cannot justly be attributed to mere statistical inevitability.
Not sure if that statistical reference-joke was intended. Or maybe something stayed with him.

posted by rino breebaart  # 10:14 am
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