Private: Kelman’s latest

The Modern Word site reviews Scottish writer James Kelman‘s Translated Accounts. The reviewer says that this latest novel “owes a rather embarrassing debt to the later works of Samuel Beckett (How It Is and The Lost Ones in particular).”

Link via Steve (at Spike Magazine’s splinters), whose take on the author and his work is worth reading:

….Much as I share Kelman’s political opinions (see his Some Recent Attacks: essays cultural and political), I’m not keen on his novels. Years ago I enjoyed A Disaffection. Kelman says that Southerners liked it because it was about a teacher and mentioned Kant a lot, so that’s why perhaps (and one can’t get more than 250 yards further south than me without getting very wet). His Booker Prize winning novel How Late It Was, How Late, extracted here, demonstrates the problems of his apparently radical style. Behind the Scots dialect and obscenities lies a very conventional literary approach. And where he’s tried something new and necessary to the subject, he seems worthy but humourless. The novels tend to be given respect by those sympathising with his progressive political aims, so that’s probably why he resented the particular praise from those who don’t sympathise for the one less political work.