Subversion by irreverence and ridicule
Anarchist Albert Cossery’s books are the most irreverent that I’ve ever read, ridiculing those in power, the police, the wealthy, and the stupidities of our industrial society. Everything our puritanical society deems important--material wealth, ambition, proper conduct, hard work, university degrees, progress--is ridiculed in his novels, most of which are set in Arab countries (especially Egypt). He mocks bourgeois materialism, consumerism, and productivity while reserving his sympathies for the lowlife: street-corner layabouts, hashish dealers, petty thieves, beggars, confidence tricksters (“shuttar” in Arabic), and bandits.
Oct 12, 2014
Literature not Flyers
a review of
Small Beauty by Jia Qing Wilson-Yangas. Metonymy Press, 2016, $16.95 CAD
During a discussion hosted by Montreal’s L’Insoumise anarchist bookstore and DIRA anarchist library, the novelist Lola Lafon was asked how she includes her politics in her novels.
(A review of her 2014 We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm appears in the Summer 2015Fifth Estate.)
Feb 1, 2017
Novels of Michael Ondaatje
a review of
In the Skin of a Lion (1987); The English Patient (1993) by Michael Ondaatje
Some people read novels solely for a good story. Others also want quality writing that flows well and doesn’t distract from the story line. For me, if the novel reflects my values, all the better, but this is not a criterion.
Sep 27, 2018