What I as a young enthusiast took for pell-mell freedom and chaos is in fact the result of careful orchestration and staging, within individual stories and in terms of the collection as a whole. This doesn’t mean the work is without its excesses—or that it doesn’t, at times, scan to me as self-indulgent, repetitive, inscrutable, etc.—but if you had asked me, before I revisited this book, why I no longer read Vollmann, I would have phrased my answer in terms of losing my tolerance for a certain kind of sloppiness; but now, having had my reunion, I must say that my complaints about Vollmann are not to be phrased in terms of his qualities as a writer but rather in terms of my taste as a reader.
Posts Tagged: William T. Vollmann
I have to remind myself that all is permissible. Art has to be a free space. Language has to be a free space. And I just shouldn’t worry about that kind of thing while I’m working. I might pay the consequences later, but that’s not my problem while I’m doing the writing.
This week, the book blogs are obsessed.
They really, really want to tell you everything about William Vollman and Thomas Pynchon and their new wondrous masterpieces of weird. I love both authors and look forward to reading both books, but this week, the blogs talked so incessantly about them that I will make this roundup a Vollman and Pynchon free zone, with one exception....more
One of the more anticipated summer novels of the season is also probably one of the longest, most disturbing and most intimidating: Imperial, William T. Vollman’s mammoth exploration of the U.S.-Mexican border in Imperial County, CA. Clocking in at about 1300 pages the hardcover edition will retail for $55.oo and probably take more than the rest of the summer to read, and more than two more winters to fully digest and appreciate....more