Friday, September 02, 2016

Christine Brooke-Rose, Out (1964)

Right! Brooke-Rose (1923-2012) was an experimental British novelist. And that's about all there is to say about that! She doesn't seem to be especially well-known these days, but she was pretty prolific. This one time, she won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. So there!

(I do wonder sometimes about labeling fiction "experimental." All it really seems to mean is "trying something different," which is really nothing at all like what it means in science. You do a scientific experiment, you're trying to get data for or against a hypothesis, but what data are you trying to get from an "experimental" novel? None that I can see, apart from "can a novel like this be good?" which obviously is wildly subjective and non-rigorous. Fortunately, no one cares.)

I have here a book known as The Christine Brooke-Rose Omnibus, including four similarly-titled novels: Out, Such, Between, and Thru. As I understand it, Out is supposed to be her first overtly avant-garde novel, though she wrote a handful prior. And it's certainly an abstruse one. Of that there is no doubt. As near as one can make out, it concerns a dystopian future South Africa in which apartheid has been turned on its head, and black supremacy is the norm, even as people pay lip service to egalitarianism. White ("colourless") people are also prey to a disease ("the malady") that is...apparently...due to the fallout from some nuclear incident. The unnamed, wildly-unreliable semi-narrator is a colourless man of unclear provenance looking for work and ultimately finding it granted by a wealthy black woman, Mrs. Mgulu. And...well, that's about all one can say about it, really. It's not a plot-heavy novel.

As I said, one is limited to saying what the novel is "apparently" about because it really goes out of its way to be unclear. There are bits of dialogue which flit to and fro between different characters in different situations, sometimes veering off into fantasy or other nonsense. The identity of the characters is mutable as heck. There are long paragraphs of medical and scientific description, and others as from the perspective of a camera focused on a specific object or scene and thus providing information that, without context, isn't invested with much or anything by way of meaning. There's lots of repetition. Cause and effect get muddled, and dubious correlations are asserted. Things get revealed, to the extent that they do, slowly and obliquely. And there you have it.

At first I wasn't too sure about this book, but you know what? Once I got on its wavelength, I really dug it. It's just an interesting mode of storytelling. Why is it the way it is? That is not always super-easy to say. It clearly is at least somewhat related to the narrator's own disordered mental state, and his strained relationship to the world around him. Language breaks down, blah blah, semiotic chaos, etc. I just thought this was a really clever and well-executed...jeez, now I feel self-conscious about saying "experiment." But there you go. Not to all tastes, clearly, but I think I will be reading more Brooke-Rose in the future. Obviously, it would be difficult or impossible to find her books in Indonesia, but I still have the rest of this omnibus, though alas, I'll still be missing out on books with titles like Amalgamemnon, Verbivore, and Textermination. All in good time, my flock. All in good time.


Blogger تسويق الكترونى pontificated to the effect that...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بالجبيل
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بالخبر
شركة تنظيف بالاحساء
شركة تنظيف بالقطيف

شركة تنظيف بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف بابها
شركة تنظيف بالهفوف
شركة تنظيف بحفر الباطن
شركة تنظيف بالظهران
شركة تنظيف براس تنورة
شركة شراء الاثاث المستعمل

شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
وايت شفط بالرياض

5:27 PM  
Blogger تسويق الكترونى pontificated to the effect that...

المهندس للتسويق الالكترونى
شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف واجهات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مساجد بالرياض
وايت شفط بالرياض
شركة تنظيف قصور بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
شركة تتنظيف شقق بالرياض
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة دهانات وديكورات بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
شركة عزل اسطح بالرياض
شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض
فنى كهرباء بالرياض
شركة تركيب سراميك ورخام بالرياض
شركة تركيب نجارة الباب والشباك بالرياض
شركة ترميم المنازل واعمال البناء بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة تنظيف مساجد بالدمام
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف واجهات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالدمام
شركة تنظيف قصور بالدمام
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالدمام
شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
شركة دهانات وديكورات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالرياض
افضل شركة تنظيف بالرياض
افضل شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
افضل شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض
شركة تنظيف سجاد وموكيت بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة عزل اسطح بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة نقل أثاث بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بخميس مشيط
وايت شفط الصرف الصحى بالرياض
شركة شراء الاثاث المستعمل

5:27 PM  
Blogger GeoX's Nemesis, the Mysterious XoeG pontificated to the effect that...

Holy shit, man. I would delete the above spam, but it's just too...something. Running this through google translate, I find it's specifically Saudi Arabian spam, for a bunch of really boring-sounding companies. WHY AM I GETTING SAUDI ARABIAN SPAM I'M IN INDONESIA NOW SHEESH GET IT RIGHT. Also, just for the record, let me note that Saudi Arabia is very possibly the worst country ever. Well, okay, not in a world with North Korea. But still! Pretty damned bad.

11:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home