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I did not pan out

Christian Lorentzen: Sam Lipsyte

6 June 2019
Hark 
by Sam Lipsyte.
Granta, 304 pp., £12.99, March 2019, 978 1 78378 321 2
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... The wild​ , dark and very funny novels of Sam Lipsyte are governed by a certain fatalism: a nominal meritocracy produces a class of super-qualified and clever people who are nevertheless shut out of society’s higher-status zones. The world is split between sellouts and burnouts – guess who takes the lion’s share? ‘Let me stand on the rooftop of my reckoning,’ says Lewis ‘Teabag’ Miner, the narrator of Lipsyte’s second novel, Home Land (2004), ‘and shout naught but the indisputable: I did not pan out ...

Into the Big Tent

Benjamin Kunkel: Fredric Jameson

22 April 2010
Valences of the Dialectic 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 625 pp., £29.99, October 2009, 978 1 85984 877 7
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... from Yale in 1959) into all-purpose theory which made the discussion of all these things in the same breath established academic practice. More than this, he succeeded better than anyone else at defining the term, ‘postmodernism’, that sought to catch the historical specificity of the present age. This was a matter, first, of cataloguing ...

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