We had a power-cut last night, and I dreamt about scheming grocers cutting deals with electric companies, periodic outages forcing citizens to restock their refrigerators at planned intervals. It's not a great idea for a story, but probably better than the crap they're shilling now. Orhan Pamuk has just won the Nobel—I read his The New Life a while ago, and found it very dreary. And this week I glanced at a BBC review of the new Booker Prize winner, Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss, and thought it sounded contemptibly banal—matters not helped by the reviewer's pre-pubescent prose style:
There are lines though that are quite thought provoking, often included towards the end of a chapter, allowing the reader to pause and think about the statement before continuing.Even Seneca isn't this bad. In my case, the bitter taste of such modern fiction was salved by the purchase of a much older fiction—namely, a facsimile reproduction of the Nuremberg Chronicle. Meanwhile, my cuñada writes about ants and tobacco, inspired by yours truly. The same cuñada told us the other day about 'oxytoxin', the orgasm hormone. For a while I wondered how I could rhyme it with 'foxy boxing' in a clerihew; then I googled it and discovered it was actually oxytocin. Shame.
"She sometimes thought herself pretty, but as she began to make a proper investigation, she found it was a changeable thing, beauty."
Some of the statements are so clever and deep, one may feel it necessary to jot it down and re-visit.
"Anyway, he said to himself, money wasn't everything. There was that simple happiness of looking after someone and having someone look after you."
It almost feels like Desai is trying to convey a message to the reader about the importance of things in life which perhaps she sees are often overlooked.
"Time should move. Don't go for a life where time doesn't pass."