Archive

Hannah Tennant-Moore

6 August 2012

The language has the simplistic truthiness of therapy, rather than the complex precision of poetry. But there is no reason to doubt that Winterson is telling the truth. So why doesn’t Mars-Jones believe Winterson? Because she sounds too self-confident. “Martyrs at the stake have spoken with more diffidence,” he writes. Apparently one can only have a change of heart if shy and uncertain. More…

14 June 2011

Levé is hardly the only contemporary writer who seeks to rescue spontaneous engagement with one’s surroundings from the rush and emotional sterility of most daily communication. But while writers like Michel Houellebecq and Gary Shteyngart express contemporary disconnectedness through characters and plots that embody alienation and competition, Levé is concerned only with the way it feels to be bombarded by discrete facts. More…

9 September 2010

Mary Gaitskill’s characters do not give blowjobs. But one does bend down to a man’s waist “in a position that was not very pleasing either aesthetically or psychologically.” Her characters do not have random hook-ups. But a woman who’s had too much to drink may kiss a stranger with “an escalating slur of useless feeling.” Phrases like these force the reader to slow down in a way that the characters do not, revealing oral sex as a self-conscious pose, and a kiss as vivified desperation. More…