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Where Is Stephen (Steve) Poleskie Now?


An excerpt from The Backlash Against the Novel, by Paul West

WHAT IS THIS FICTION we are talking about? Surely nothing to do with best sellers and/or pulp “page-turners” or the old Dodd-Mead formula of one crisis every ten pages. No, it had to do with those deplored matters: formalism, interiority, the presumably ineffable unspoken, textural and plotly experiment, and structures flinched from the other arts. In my tousled head I carried a short list of practitioners, some of whom I knew: Barth, Coover, Davenport, Gass, Hawkes, Markson, Morrow, Sebald, Vernon, Hugh Nissenson, Poleskie, Joanna Scott, Jeanne Mackin, Janet Frame the New Zealander and Delia Falconer the Australian, plus James Hamilton Patterson, (Gerontion) and Michael Brodsky, a true heir of Beckett, and Claudio Magris, a picaresque heir of Svevo. There are others who will not now forgive me. I have trouble with the phrase “post-modern,” which always struck me as post-Renaissance, so I am aware of having flinched some post-modernists from that moldy ragbag. Asked to describe myself, I say “stylist” and head for the hills.
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Copyright: 2001. 2003, by Paul West.
The complete essay is available as a limited edition chap book from: Elik Press, 962 East Lowell Avenue, Sault Lake City, Utah 84102

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