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Friday, February 19, 2021

The Modern Mainstream 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 climate change, patriotism, Christianity, "systemic" racism, sexism, and bigotry.] 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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