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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Modern "Literary" Novel

The novelist has a grudge against society, which he documents with accounts of unsatisfying sex, unrealized ambition, unmitigated loneliness, and a sense of local and global distress. The square, overpopulation, the bourgeois, the bomb, and the cocktail party are variously identified as sources of the grudge. [Today it's Donald Trump, climate change, sexism, racism, and flag-waving yahoos.] There follows a little obscenity here, a dash of philosophy there, considerable whining overall, and the modern novel is born.

Renata Adler, Toward a Radical Middle, 1969 

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