lundi, décembre 22, 2008


"Wyndham Lewis's greatest novel, Self Condemned (1954; currently available from Black Sparrow)-written after he had gone blind, in Canada and about Canada, in condemnation of Canada, in condemnation of himself for inexplicably abandoning England and coming to Canada, whose bleak unlit winters bore upon even a blind man-was received with some interest in Canada but with unopen arms, selling 7,000 copies during its first two years there. Not bad for Lewis, not bad for Canada, but even in Canada it failed to achieve the audience it ought to have had, an audience which, had it been there, would have condemned the book just as its protagonist, Harding, was condemned for writing the Secret History of World War Two, which didn't kowtow to the Allies enough and whose pacifist proclivities were interpreted as fascist leanings, dismaying Harding as Harding might have been dismayed had Harding been dismembered, and driving him out of England into exile in a cold Toronto hotel where his marriage comes apart, too, like seams held by rotten thread. The book's movement is glacial and grinding, the writing brilliant, the mood cold and sterile, but the hotel is set on fire (as Lewis's was) only to become a fire hose's frozen shell, like Harding himself, who, after his no-longer-loved wife is crushed under a car where she's rolled herself, is empty enough now, hollow enough now to become an American academic." WILLIAM GASS


Blogger Fausto Maijstral said...

J'étais en train de me dire que la présentation était inexplicablement bonne, puis j'ai vu la signature ne bas de page...

10:30 PM  

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