R.I.P. Christine Brooke-Rose
March 27, 2012 11:36 PM Subscribe
posted by twirlip (12 comments total)
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Experimental novelist and critic Christine Brooke-Rose
has died. The Guardian
has an obituary
and an appreciation
Frank Kermode's review
of her last novel (the autobiographical Life, End of
) serves as an overview of her life and work. Brooke-Rose herself described her approach and intentions in this in-depth interview
with the Review of Contemporary Fiction
Her novels include:
- Thru: a "novel about the theory of the novel," notable for its extreme typographical experimentation. It uses a group narrator (a classroom of creative writing students) and explores themes from semiotics, poststructuralism, and narratology.
- Xorandor: "Jip and Zab are preteen twins who speak a weird, unfamiliar slang and meet up with a talking rock that turns out to be a foreign lifeform from Mars, which they dub Xorandor. They communicate with it using a programming language somewhat akin to BASIC, and they discover it can consume radiation particles. This then spins into a tale of spies, nuclear disarmament, and a disorganized offspring of Xorandor who gets scrambled, decides it is Lady Macbeth, and demands that it and its brethren be given endless radiation or it will create a critical mass and destroy a good part of England." (Thomas M. Disch liked it.)
- Amalgamemnon: a monologue combining allusions to Greek myth with reflections on the increasingly bureaucratic, technologized, and precarious academic world, using only the future tense and the conditional mood.
- Next, in which the author "ventures out into the streets to imagine the inner lives and outer wanderings of London's homeless. ... This being a Brooke-Rose novel, there are structural secrets, some of which are revealed by the jacket copy: for instance, there are twenty-six characters, each bearing the name beginning with a different letter of the alphabet, the ten homeless characters spelling out among them the ten letters of the top row of the keyboard (QWERTUIOP)."