Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dimming the lights

'A striking image is featured on the jacket cover of Jay McInerney's seventh novel ['The Good Life']: a simple bowl, a fork, and a spoon covered in what could be volcanic ash or the accumulated tomb-dust of centuries, but which we know to be the airborne detritus of September 11: the ashes of violent and cataclysmic death. Such an image—the domestic made transcendent, the banal made iconic—would seem to be the natural province of the visual artist, for whom a single, swift, and powerful gesture is possible; to translate the equivalent image into fiction, with its very different expectations, of stories enacted in time, "characters" required to be both authentic and mythic, a minutely observed background, or backgrounds, to provide authenticity, verisimilitude, "reality," is a more daunting task...' More


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