Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Choice Excerpts From Recent Negative Reviews

From Alexander Zaitchik's review of the movie 2012 on killingthebuddha.com:
"Moments after the entire Indian subcontinent is violently subsumed by water, Emmerich expects us to bunch our fists over the fate of a yappy purse dog. But we don’t. Even the best-trained American audience has by then long transferred its allegiance to the side of apocalypse. It is simply not possible to make it into the second hour of this film and not root for the cosmic clusterfuck to hurry up and finish its business with every last member of the species responsible for Roland Emmerich. Nothing makes a catastrophic polar shift seem overdue like a stylized product placement for Bentley Motors, set against the death of a billion Chinese."
From James Wood's review of Paul Auster's new novel "Invisible" in the New Yorker:
"The classic formulations of postmodernism, by philosophers and theorists like Maurice Blanchot and Ihab Hassan, emphasize the way that contemporary language abuts silence. For Blanchot, as indeed for Beckett, language is always announcing its invalidity. Texts stutter and fragment, shred themselves around a void. Perhaps the strangest element of Auster’s reputation as an American postmodernist is that his language never registers this kind of absence at the level of the sentence. The void is all too speakable in Auster’s work. The pleasing, slightly facile books come out almost every year, as tidy and punctual as postage stamps, and the applauding reviewers line up like eager stamp collectors to get the latest issue. Peter Aaron, the narrator of 'Leviathan,' whose prose is so pressureless, claims that 'I have always been a plodder, a person who anguishes and struggles over each sentence, and even on my best days I do no more than inch along, crawling on my belly like a man lost in the desert. The smallest word is surrounded by acres of silence for me.' Not enough silence, alas."

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Blogger Mr. Christopher said...

Thanks, Masticator. Just when I expunged him from my memory bank...now Auster's overrated and awful prose will be stuck in my head all day.

1:31 PM  

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