I Feel Like Taking In A Narrative

The lovely Rose Gowen sent me this passage from Gary Indiana’s piece on Jean Echenoz in the current issue of Bookforum:

If it’s true that photography released painting from naturalism, Echenoz prompts the hardly new thought that film has, or ought to have, liberated the novel from it’s more plodding expository chores. While his technique mimics film’s sleight-of-hand by cutting across time lines, points of view, and locations, he also features ample doses of allegory, a strong resemblance to fables and fairy tales, and anthropomorphisms that could resonate only in a linguistic venue. He indicates, at every point, something beyond documentary reality and paints a world where coincidence and the dream state regularly trump logic and verisimilitude.

Rose says “…one so often hears people lament reading in the era of movies and television — the idea being that books compete with movies and tv — and I sort of wonder about this: does anyone really say, ‘oh, I feel like taking in a narrative, but in what form’?”


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