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Thursday, 8 November 2007

Empty State . . .

I wrote about Stewart Home a while back in a Scarecrow Editorial and I reviewed his recent novel Memphis Underground for 3AM.

A recent article on The Guardian Online asked readers to declare who they feel are the 'unsung heroes' of contemporary Literature. For me, it has to be Stewart Home. He’s a literary and artistic tour de force who has produced some of the most thought-provoking Literature and Art in the last 30 years. Very much ahead of his time he is often labelled as a prankster – maybe he is? Yet, there is no denying the serious rivulet of analytical thought that feeds his work: collectively Stewart Home’s output is a swipe at the ridiculousness of our commoditised times; the emptiness of our art; our egos; our productivity. He shows us for the communal sham we are . . .

This can only be healthy. In a recent post, at his marvellous blog This Space, the literary critic Stephen Mitchelmore posits:

“It's why I tend to stop reading literary novels after a few lines [ . . . ] because it relies on conventional elisions to maintain itself rather than by undoing the elision.”

Hasn’t Stewart Home been doing just this? Undoing our shoddy silence; unravelling piece by piece the truths we choose to leave out, to ignore and compress? Stewart Home’s anti-narratives are just that: an unscrambling of what we choose to remove. And in doing so he reveals to us the vainglorious, empty state we’re in.

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