?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Past | The Previous

From the Australian Book Review by Jake Wilson.

It starts off a jolly bit of harshness, by saying, that "There is much amateurish writing in this collection, and a more serious lack of urgency: many contributors seem less interested in creating new myths than amusing themselves with borrowed ones, like fans dressing up for a convention."

I figured I was up for the slap down, but I actually come out pretty good:

"The other wild card in the collection is Ben Peek's ambitious 'The Dreaming City', announced as part one of a larger project: a grandiose attempt at a new myth of Sydney, based on historical research documented in straight-faced footnotes (maybe an appendix would do the job better in his envisaged novel). Here, the starting point is the late-career trip to Sydney by celebrity lecturer Mark Twain, who finds himself guided through the lower depths by Peek's surrogate - a kind of supernatural political entrepreneur, who hopes to use Twain's cultural capital to underwrite his revolution. On this showing, Peek has ideas, of the kind that would go down well at an interdisciplinary conference, but not the deep interest in character or language that would entirely bring the phantasmagoria to life. Still, I look forward to further installments."

Tags:

Comments

( 6 Soaking Up Bandwidth — Soak Up Bandwidth )
lonewolf23
Dec. 16th, 2005 02:39 am (UTC)
He's sure got a thing about new myths, huh? ;) Good review, well done man!
benpeek
Dec. 16th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC)
everyone's got their thing. this guy seems to have myths as it--i think he might be surprised by the actual shape and size of the novel, though. but it's ambitious and i like being called ambitious.
deadcities_icon
Dec. 16th, 2005 06:43 am (UTC)
Don't listen!
Footnotes kick serious hardcore ASS. Appendicies are for Tolkien clonefuckers.

And I want to read this book of yours, Ben. Really.

benpeek
Dec. 16th, 2005 09:40 am (UTC)
Re: Don't listen!
the footnotes are actually quite different to what they are in that story. they're throughout the book and are, basically, one hundred, two hundred word stories of the minor characters. sometimes they overlap.

and sure, man, once it's done, you can have a read.
bodhichitta0
Dec. 16th, 2005 12:00 pm (UTC)
I disagree that the story doesn't show "a deep interest in language". And you know, my opinion is the most important. :-p Still, not a shabby review.
benpeek
Dec. 16th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
well, that kind of language comment, that's pretty much taste, really. other people have called it well written, and so forth. he makes a fair comment, though, about the city not emerging--i don't think it ever did that. it was just about the city--giving you an insight, in it's own, mixed up kind of way.

he's right that i'm not interested in presenting twain as the real twain, however.
( 6 Soaking Up Bandwidth — Soak Up Bandwidth )