Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tom McCarthy - C

Here is a book title that even my son can read. C.

Let us look at some keywords: radio, transmission, war, reception, communication (transmission + reception), metaphor, technology, analysis.

Essays always provide a good perspective about how a writer thinks and presents his thoughts. A particularly good example of Tom McCarthy at the Guardian.

The Guardian review of C:
C is a 1960s-style anti-novel that's fundamentally hostile to the notion of character and dramatises, or encodes, a set of ideas concerning subjectivity. On the face of it, though, it's a historical fantasy, sometimes witty and sometimes eerie, built around the early years of radio transmission. The central figure, Serge Carrefax, is born in 1898 on an estate named Versoie in southern England. His father, an eccentric inventor, oversees a school for deaf children; his mother, who is deaf and was once the father's pupil, manufactures silk. Serge and his older sister, Sophie, grow up surrounded by transmitters and insects; Serge gets the wireless bug, while Sophie develops an interest in natural history...
Though Serge holds the foreground, it's plain from early on that the novel is chiefly structured by the idea of transmission and reception, which serves as a metaphor for, among many other things, and very roughly speaking, an implied relationship between language, technology and subjectivity.

Surplus Matter has plenty of Tom McCarthy related stuff for the interested.

Tom McCarthy page and C page at the Man Booker website

My Two Cents:
This isn't the kind of novel I am usually interested in. And that is precisely why I will make an attempt to read C and see if I can see what is in it. 

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