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Recommended Reading: Jane Campion on Janet Frame

By Asides, Cinema, Literature and NZ

A little late, but still recommended, Jane Campion remembers Janet Frame and making An Angel at My Table, in The Guardian:

Each room and even parts of rooms were dedicated to a different book in progress. Here and there she had hung curtains to divide up the rooms like they do in hospital wards to give the patients privacy. On the desk where she had last been working was a pair of earmuffs.

I can’t bear any sound,” she explained. “The double bricks haven’t worked. I think I will have to move.”

By Asides, Current Events and Literature

Screenwriter Ronan Bennett criticises Martin Amis for his questionable positioning on present day inter-cultural relations (and other commentators for essentially giving him a free pass):

As a novelist, Amis is free to do whatever he wants with his characters, but the hijackers’ steps on the road to 9/11 repay investigation. Reducing the motivation of the enemy to bloodlust leads nowhere, as the experience of the British in Ireland proved. The result will be wrong and it will be cliche. It may be, given Amis’s spectacular powers, flamboyant, but that will only make it flamboyant cliche. Horrorism. Death cult. Thanatoid. Striking words but poor substitutes for understanding, reason and real knowledge.

I am a big fan of Amis’ writing but I confess to being uncomfortable with some of the positions he is taking at the moment.

The poet of collision

By Asides and Literature

James Ellroy on Dashiell Hammett:

Hammett’s male-speak is the gab of the grift, the scam, the dime hustle. It’s the poke, the probe, the veiled query, the grab for advantage. It’s the threat, the dim sanction, the offer of friendship cloaked in betrayal. Plot holes pop through Hammett’s stories like speed bumps. The body count accretes with no more horror than pratfalls in farce. It doesn’t matter. The language is always there.

(via The Guardian)