Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wither Insularity?

Each culture is primarily interested in its own subject, plus whatever is coming out of America. With that arithmetic, we are even with everyone else. We just don't have a market larger than our own to aspire to. We'll occasionally look to Britain, mostly as something to simultaneously aspire to and rebel against, sort of like our father — but for the most part, we honestly believe we are making the great contributions to culture.

Jessa Crispin (aka Bookslut) addresses insularity, and a few other issues, as she reviews Best European Fiction 2010 ed. Aleksandar Hemon (A), here. Weirdly enough, I can't help but wonder if this "Yo: Dad" posture she describes doesn't mirror Canadian novelists' attitude toward their American counterparts.


DarkoV said...

While I love reading anthologies as they are like eating expertly concocted tapas, you know, intense flavor and texture in small bits that entice you to a fuller meal later on, this compendium's inclusion of the word "Best" is an incredible turnoff. Why not "Selected" or "Samplings of"?

Jessa Crispin's review did pique my interest in one of the stories, Steinar Bragi’s "The Sky Over Thingvellir", which was described as it "reads like Updike crossed with Umberto Eco". The short paragraph that Ms. Crispin includes in her review she linked to brought back memories of yesterday when I was standing with a girlfriend within the walls of Thingvellir, a place that will send you into deep and winding thought within a half hour's stay.

Great links, as usual, WP.

DarkoV said...

oooops. Not "yesterday", more like "yesterdecades".....

Whisky Prajer said...

"Yesterday" works just as well, Darko.