Sunday, 17 May 2020

Someone Actually Read My Novel...

I'm not sure why I failed to link this back in 2019, but here's an extensive analysis of the book what I wrote, Against Nature, many, many copies of which are doubtless still available from no good book retailers. Tibère gives me a lot more credit than is my due with the parallels he finds, many of which are simply parallels with aspects of Mesoamerican culture which I reiterated, not necessarily with quite such deliberate intent regarding the symbolism; but his observations are absolutely on point, and enough so that I wish a few more had been deliberate - particularly with reference to Rabelais. Additionally, it's massively satisfying to see that someone picked up on a few of the details relating to Plato, Huysmans and the like.

Against Nature was a real labour of love and took a long time to write for one reason and another, and I was literally living in a different country by the time I finished it. I wanted to write something which would affect the reader in the same way that This Town Will Never Let Us Go had affected me, and which had enough philosophical depth to keep anyone busy for a couple of months, should they be of ponderous inclination. Its reception was therefore a bit underwhelming from my perspective - those who expressed a view mostly liked it, one or two really liked it, and a few didn't seem to appreciate my having filled it up with all those words 'n' shit. Weirdly, and against my expectation, I found the criticism didn't bother me as I thought it would. Mostly it seemed like those who regarded Against Nature as incomprehensible had wanted an entirely different book, one of a kind I've never wanted to write; but it still seemed a shame, like when you take time to cook something for the boy and it turns out that all he really wanted was a burger. It would, after all, be a boring world if we all liked the same thing.

Anyway, I hadn't thought about Against Nature or Faction Paradox for a while. It's old news and I've found the increased desire within sections of the potential readership to fit everything neatly onto the same bookshelf as the outer space robot people of television's Dr. Who kind of depressing. I don't resent the association, except where the Faction is understood as only that and not much else. I'd like to think I spent nearly eight years - or whatever it was - writing something with qualities besides how well it squares with something on the telly. Anyway, that Tibère took the time to think this hard about what I'd written, is gratifying, even humbling, and actually makes it all worth the while.

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