Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Josipovici elsewhere

Since I've been focusing so much on Gabriel Josipovici around here (click below on the Josipovici label for the whole lot), I'd be remiss if I didn't point you to the recent flurry of web activity about him and his work:

Tales from the Reading Room on Everything Passes.

Imani at The Books of My Numberless Dreams has three recent posts (one, two, three) on re-reading Goldberg: Variations. (Again, here are my review and follow-up.)

At ReadySteadyBook, Ismo Santala discusses Josipovici's novel, The Air We Breathe (published in 1981). Just a couple of months ago, also at ReadySteadyBook, Santala had reviewed Josipovici's early novel, The Inventory (published in 1968). These are tantalizing glimpses into novels that are out of print and thus very difficult to find (especially here in the States). It seems to me that Josipovici's fiction is a reissue program waiting to happen.

Finally, and arguably gratuitously, I note that Patrick Kurp asked in passing last week whether Josipovici had "ever liked anything worth reading?" I guess it depends on whether one thinks the Bible, or Dante or Shakespeare or Kierkegaard or Kafka or Proust or Beckett are worth reading, to name only those writers about whom Josipovici's written with love and insight in The Book of God or On Trust, which is to say nothing of Joyce or Nabokov or Bellow or Thomas Bernhard or Muriel Spark or Peter Handke or numerous others. Kurp's post begins like this: "Guilt by association is not always unfair. When certain readers and critics trumpet a book, it amounts to the opposite of an imprimatur: You can assume it is error-ridden and a waste of your precious time." True enough as a general principle, I suppose, but in this case comically misapplied. If anything, the exact opposite is the case with Josipovici. When he shines his loving, critical eye on a writer I'd previously not considered, I then go out of my way to read that writer.

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Anonymous Mark Thwaite said...

Hi Richard,

You are right to mention Patrick Kurp's bizarre swipe at Josipovici. Like you, I can't think of a writer who has led me on to read as many great other writers as he has done; I can't think of a critic I trust more.


November 14, 2007 2:09 AM  

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