23 mar. 2006

The Red Robins is wonderful. It is on my 10 top novels of all time list. I think, though, you already haved to be immersed in Kenneth Koch's world to even read it, let alone appreciate it. It's parody, but of what?

a certain genre of children's adventure novel?

Noh theater?

American intervention in Vietnam?

epic poetry?

all or none of the above?

I love it for every fifth chapter that stands on its on as a wonderful prose/poetry vignette--even if it weren't part of a novel. I haven't figured out if the novel is actually a novel--as though that mattered. This and Harry Mathews My Life in CIA, which I am also reading by perfect coincidence, are the perfect pair of novels to understand the absurd conjunction of Cold War Politics and avant-garde poetics, as filtered through a particular kind of American naiveté. The locus solus travel agency is the paradigmatic image. The central figures in each book are the prototypical American innocents abroad (Henry James). You can use that for your term papers, children. Just send me a check for $200 and the idea is yours.

1 comentario:

shanna dijo...

goody. now i am even more excited to read it. and *my life in CIA* was totally fun, as well as being essential in the way you say!