Textermination

Christine Brooke-Rose, Author
Christine Brooke-Rose, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $10.95 (182p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1216-8
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Hardcover - 182 pages - 978-0-8112-1230-4
Hardcover - 184 pages - 978-1-85754-294-3
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British novelist and critic Brooke-Rose ( Xorander ) might better have called this inventive book Six Characters in Search of a Reader. The setting is a literary conference, where academics have gathered to hear papers and debate about which works merit inclusion in the world's canon of literature. Also in attendance are hundreds of fictional characters--from Gilgamesh to Emma Bovary--who have come together to pray for their continued survival. Tensions run high: 20th-century characters are treated as second-class citizens, and characters from different times and places have trouble communicating with one another. After armed terrorists attack one of the pray-ins because it seems biased against Islam, TV's Columbo, McGarrett, and Magnum show up to investigate. Soon the convention is swamped with TV and movie characters who demand to be resurrected in the public memory along with their literary colleagues. Matters spin out of control until the arrival of the D.E.M. (Deus Ex Machina). Brooke-Rose has produced a wildly funny fictional entry in the ongoing debate about deconstruction, multiculturalism and the respective merits of ``fine'' and ``pop'' art. (Oct.)
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