Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Mighty Quin

My friend Jamie kept talking up the author Ann Quin who I'd never heard of until he finally lent me a copy of her last novel, Tripticks.

The fact that it was published by The Dalkey Archive was a good sign, but most surprising to me was that she was part of B.S. Johnson's circle. Johnson being one of my favourite prose writers, as well as being one of the most criminally underrated.

But Tripticks itself is very cool -- as the back cover notes it does have the Acker thing happening, but it also reminded me of Gail Scott's first book. One passage spoke to me particularly, seeming to be relevant to both academia and the poetry scene:

I had the feeling that the whole place was an inbred life, a life turned in on itself, I had the uneasy feeling also that people talked to themselves, in a language devised for each other, delivered in papers written for each other, at conferences held for each other, supported by agencies formed for each other. And all done in the self-important atmosphere of addressing themselves to the problems of the world, which is their responsibility to find solutions for.