Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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Bob Garlitz

Nicely put. Agree with you. On target. Not very interesting conversation but there it is. So how did you take the ending of Not Sidney? Only way to wrap up the nonsense koan. The satire of trying to make any sense out of everyone's "search for identity."

Tom Conoboy

However, these efforts seem mostly directed toward simply dismantling the novel as "form"

I don’t know, I’m not sure I agree with that. I don’t think his target is the novel. Rather, I think it is those who presume to deconstruct it. As I read Erasure or Glyph, I don’t get the impression that Everett is satirising the novel per se, as much as those who toy with it. In My Pafology, for example, the book within a book in Erasure, the style is deliberately crass, but in doing this I don’t think he belittles the novel form, but the way it is bastardised by those who do not have any genuine regard for it. I think it is S:Z that is being satirised, not the novel.

My beef with Everett, though, is that he spreads his satire too thinly. If he would stick to one target – racism, religion, academia, whatever – and concentrate on that, rather than taking pot shots at everything in every novel, I think he would be much more effective.

Sometimes liberties with novel structure can be compelling and refreshing, sometimes they can be reactionary for art's sake and mask as lack of substance. As a huge Faulkner fan, I'm hoping for the former (but I've been disappointed before).


Satire, since its inception, has utilized the scatter-shot methodology. One must Look beyond the individual riff's and mockery to find a re-occuring theme--satire operates in a repetitive function, and must be repeated perpetually, as such is it's nature.

I would argue Everett's over-arching theme's focus on the mis-guided seriousness in which these enterprises operate. Im my perspective, Everett operates under the assumption that blind-faith in any idea and/or enterprise is ultimately counter-productive, in that in the end, the functions thought to expand our competence and faculty for understanding, do just the opposite.

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