26 March 2011


I've read Tao Lin's novel, published [in Spain} by Alpha Decay. I could say a number of things. It's we'll written. It's strange. And, above all, frightening. The same sort of frightening as The Outsider or American Psycho. It's the worst kind of fear, because it gets into your body without you noticing. Like cold at altitude, or mine gas, something that might cause you to lose your fingers from frostbite, or fly through the air. I think of Haneke. In Haneke the important thing is not the ellipses of time, but the ellipses of emotion. In [Richard Yates] it's the total opposite. It's a cocktail of nihilism and playground sensibility. There's a lot that's emotionally invalid. It's like watching someone walking around without any legs or arms. It reveals that adolescence, like Eliot's April, is the cruelest age. That we're all adolescents. Something we already suspected. That purity exists only in the concentration camp. [Richard Yates] is a cruel and lovely novel. It make you hate the author. You feel sorry for him. It also makes you go on believing in literature.

* eso es una traduccion de un post en peripatetismos2.blogspot.com que me interesa
** This is a translation of a post I found interesting on peripatetismos2.blogspot.com. I wanted to post something there about Tao Lin's 'concrete slash literal' novelistic style (see post below), and surfaces, and the rejection of the realism credo (Robbe Grillet's "destitution of the old myths of 'depth'"), and how this might feed into people's love/hate of Tao. Translating the post was as far as I got... I thought the 'emotionally invalid' translation, followed by the limbless image was suggestive -- you could translate it as 'there's a lot of emotional invalidity', or even maybe 'there's a lot of emotional untruth/ falsity/ fabrication' (which feels closer to my idea of this writer's idea of Tao Lin, but would really be stretching the translation), but you'd lose that overlap.


Hautor said...

Thanks for the translation. It was amazing -and strange- to read my words in english.

Thomas Bunstead said...

Not at all.

Thomas Bunstead said...

I found the personal nature of your response really interesting -- the references to bodies might have been part of what made me feel your response, whereas so many reviews guard against that. Also interesting how you leaped from Tao Lin to Haneke.