[Marxism] Outborough Destiny: Jonathan Lethem’s “Dissident Gardens” |

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Sep 14 07:08:42 MDT 2013


Last night I was listening to Lethem being interviewed about his new 
novel about CP'ers and he really got on my nerves.

This is fawning review of the book:

http://lareviewofbooks.org/review/outborough-destiny-jonathan-lethems-dissident-gardens

This is an excerpt from an interview:

BG: Have you ever done this much research for a book?

JL: Never, and I hope never to do so much again — it isn’t natural to 
me. I’m ambivalent mentioning it, too, because I don’t really like 
research in fiction. The results are often leaden. And yet here it was 
necessary that I build a giant armature of factual situations in my 
head, a historical diorama to move through, even if I then contradicted 
it or blew it up at whim. I researched rhetoric and propaganda, as well 
as dull sociological stuff. I read mediocre novels written from the 
left, from the ‘30’s to the ‘60’s, to gain a better feel for the 
emotional texture of those stances through those decades. This wasn’t 
pleasure reading!

full: http://lareviewofbooks.org/interview/79685

I will probably get around to read this piece of crap novel. I think 
this is key to what will really irk me: " I build a giant armature of 
factual situations in my head, a historical diorama to move through, 
even if I then contradicted it or blew it up at whim." In other words, 
the living CP'ers were just grist for his mill.




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