Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gut Cult Flet

There's an insightful review of Joyelle's brilliant novel *Flet* in the new issue of Gut Cult, written by Shane McCrae.

Here's an interestingly tortured excerpt:

"It is possible to read *Flet* as a dystopian politcal novel, and that's sort of what *Flet* is. But more than that, it is a commentary on how dystopian novels are read, and how they ask to be read. That is to say, *Flet* reads as if it itself were reading a dystopian political novel and Flet behaves, at least in the first section of the book, as if she were struggling against reading her world as a dystopian political novel, while at the same time being on some level aware that her world is a dystopian political novel..."

Then he talks about how the second section becomes more difficult to pin down. And that's true, the second section is a totally brilliant Joycean collage of voices and perspectives (cartography, surveillance, paleontology etc). In other words, the kind of writing that usually causes reviewers to call men "geniuses" and women "excessive" or "incomprehensible" or some such. And indeed many reviews have argued that the novel is too difficult/frivolous and also "cliche" (McCrae's 'novel reading a novel' is a more thoughtful response I think).

I should also mention that there are other pieces well worth reading in the issue.


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