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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Tuesday 27 September 2005

Christine Brooke-Rose

Just noticed this interview with Christine Brooke-Rose with Tom Boncza-Tomaszewski and this interview at the Center for Book Culture with Ellen G. Friedman and Miriam Fuchs. And this biographical sketch is useful. Invisible Author: Last Essays looks excellent:

A blend of memoir and narrative, Invisible Author consists of six lectures by Christine Brooke-Rose, in which she discusses her own work, thus breaking the taboo that authors should not write about their writings, though constantly invited to talk about them. The collection ends with a splendidly summarizing interview by Lorna Sage.

Sarah Birch's Christine Brooke-Rose and Contemporary Fiction is probably one to order from the library:

Setting her work firmly in the context of English and French writing and literary and feminist theory, Sarah Birch examines the full range of Brooke-Rose's fiction: the early realist novels published between 1957-1961; the strongly anti-realist period beginning with Out (1964), when Brooke-Rose's work was seen to be heavily influenced by French experimental fiction; and the third phase of her development which began with Xorandor (1986) and which marks a questioning return to the traditional techniques of the novel. Sarah Brich asks why a novelist who has been so highly praised by critics is nevertheless excluded from the contemporary canon, and argues that Brooke-Rose's position on the borders of European and British cultures raises key questions concenring the notion of a `national' tradition and of literary post-modernism. For Birch, Brooke-Rose's work is best understood as a poetic and playful questioning of categories in general, be they discursive or cultural.

Born in 1923 in Geneva and educated at Somerville College, Oxford and University College, London, Brooke-Rose taught at the University of Paris, Vincennes, from 1968 to 1988 and now lives in the south of France. Carcanet publish her novels Amalgamemnon, Xorandor, Verbivore and Textermination and her earlier novels Out, Such, Between and Thru in the Brooke-Rose Omnibus. Also available is her autobiographical work, Remake (1996).

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Reader Comments

Tuesday 18 October 2005

Jason Kennedy says...

i have read both Next and Textermination, two of C B-R's books published by Carcanet, having read tom's interview with C B-R. i found them to be sadly much better in theory than inpractice, with some of the wordplay that of a cryptic crossword fanatic (as well as being fairly heartless, wordplay concerning the human rights abuses in the Balkans doesn't do it for me)

textermination maimed columbo, feeding him terrible lines. it read like jasper fforde with an intellect.

next was better, but some may find it condescending with its rendering of a london demotic, coming from an oxbridge-educated member of the academy. personally, i don't like the "code-switching" of people wot don't talk right, cut in with the perfect english of C B-R's narration, but there is some interesting political thought and stream-of-consciousness going on here.

Tuesday 18 October 2005

Jason Kennedy says...

apologies, i meant to take out reference to the balkans, it was too tangential for probably anyone other than me to mind

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