Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies

Art and Lies by Jeanette Winterson My rating: 4 of 5 stars [Spoilers, disturbing ones at that, toward the end of this review.] My first encounter with Jeanette Winterson went badly. In college, I read Written on the Body and found it ludicrously overwritten, an imprecise prose poem wearing the guise of a novel, and … Continue reading Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies

Rikki Ducornet, Netsuke

Netsuke by Rikki Ducornet My rating: 4 of 5 stars Rikki Ducornet's Netsuke is a short novel, an impressionistic piece of eroticism, experimental and lyrical rather than realist and story-driven. Its narrator is a 64-year-old psychoanalyst on his third marriage, to a Japanese collage artist named Akiko. But the psychoanalyst obsessively sleeps with other people, … Continue reading Rikki Ducornet, Netsuke

Love, Imagination, and Wantoning Words: An Essay on and around Rikki Ducornet’s Gazelle

A comment on a review-aggregating website denounces Rikki Ducornet's novel Gazelle (2003) for its relative plotlessness and supposed incomprehensibility; characteristically, the review begins, "Wow…just wow." Ever since encountering, at age 12 or so, a back-cover assertion that the last sentence of Nineteen Eighty-Four ("He loved Big Brother") would become "the epitaph of our civilization," I … Continue reading Love, Imagination, and Wantoning Words: An Essay on and around Rikki Ducornet’s Gazelle