Bookninja -- Irish author takes swipes at… Irish authors
Reading Julian Gough's rant I'm struck by how these same qualities infect American fiction as well. When I was in writing workshops at university, everyone wanted to write like Raymond Carver and all the professors wanted you to want to write like Carver, too.
I hardly read Irish writers any more, I’ve been disappointed so often. I mean, what the FECK are writers in their 20s and 30s doing, copying the very great John McGahern, his style, his subject matter, in the 21st century? To revive a useful old Celtic literary-critical expression: I puke my ring. And the older, more sophisticated Irish writers that want to be Nabokov give me the yellow squirts and a scaldy hole. If there is a movement in Ireland, it is backwards. Novel after novel set in the nineteen seventies, sixties, fifties. Reading award-winning Irish literary fiction, you wouldn’t know television had been invented. Indeed, they seem apologetic about acknowledging electricity (or “the new Mechanikal Galvinism” as they like to call it.)
I do read the odd new, young writer, and it’s usually intensely disappointing. Mostly it’s grittily realistic, slightly depressing descriptions of events that aren’t very interesting. Though, to be fair, sometimes it’s sub-Joycean, slightly depressing descriptions of events that aren’t very interesting. I don’t get the impression many Irish writers have played Grand Theft Auto, or bought an X-Box, or watched Youporn. (And if there is good stuff coming up, for God’s sake someone, contact me, pass it on.) Really, Irish literary writers have become a priestly caste, scribbling by candlelight, cut off from the electric current of the culture. We’ve abolished the Catholic clergy, and replaced them with novelists. They wear black, they preach, they are concerned for our souls. Feck off.