Regardless, until writers realize the social compact is spiritual and species suicide, a pseudoethical pressure valve that allows Western society to pretend it’s examining its troubled conscience when all it’s doing is assuaging the guilt we feel for exploiting the rest of the world—and destroying it in the process—then the literary novel will remain little more than a series of embarrassing, irrelevant mea culpas. Speaking to the present context, this is my way of saying that I refuse to advance either of these books, even by the flip of a coin; as meaningless as the title “novel of the year” is, neither of these deserves it.Be sure to check out Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner's commentary, which is only about four times as long as Peck's entry. I have a sneaking suspicion that the entire exercise is nothing but a big, attention-grabbing stunt. To which I say, more! The ToB has been entirely uneventful this year, and rehearsed or not, performances like this are at the very least funny.
But speaking more generally—hell, you’re all just waiting for the pull quote anyway—books like these make me want to join al Qaeda.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Honestly, Tournament of Books Folks, What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?
Dale Peck judges (or rather, refuses to judge) the current round of The Morning News Tournament of Books: