» On the one hand, Marcus’s sentences in The Flame Alphabet are just as challenging as those of his previous works; but these sentences get tethered to the trappings of plot, character, and world in ways that seem designed to entice mainstream readers. This is where the trouble begins.
I’m finding that one of the most reliable indications of how much I like a book — how worthwhile I think it ultimately is — comes in how much I’m interested in reading about it. And I’m still willingly reading about The Flame Alphabet, despite it being a thoroughly unlikeable reading experience. I think I slightly less than half-agree with Lee Konstantinou’s LARB essay on the book, in part because of the rigor and consistency he’s demanding Marcus to show between criticism and art, and in part because I thought that the sentence-level repulsion aided, in a way that wasn’t seperable, the storyline and especially the thematics of the novel.
That said, I’m also pretty sure that this essay is much more interesting than all the stuff I didn’t bother to read about Freedom.
March 28, 2012, 3:52pm Comments