Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Who cares about the problems the narrator, Emmett, has manipulating a slippery bar of soap in the shower? Who cares about his technique for tossing his underwear into the laundry bin with his toes? Who cares about his method for taking off his pajamas or his method for washing his dishes? Who, in short, cares about Emmett, or his tiresome little narcissistic riffs?

Michiko Kakutani has just read A Box of Matches, the new novel from Nicholson Baker (one of my favourite contemporary writers, & the greatest living formal explorer of the stream of consciousness...), & she hates it. Read her remarkably petulant review in today's NY Times.

Thomas Mallon is rather more enthusiastic in the January Atlantic Monthly; Michael Upchurch more so in the Seattle Times ("Baker has genuinely transformed the way fiction can render our experience on the page").

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