What you (may have) missed on 3:AM recently:
To be honest, literature didn’t interest me, unless it dealt head on with the horrors of consumerism then it seemed to me to be just decorating the walls of our prison. As Debord said, nearly all of our cultural products are simply the reproduction of existing values. As Saul says in the novel: why add more crap to the stockpile of what our culture calls culture? To this day I still think if a book does not confront the crisis of purpose in contemporary life then it must go to the bin. I despise works of nostalgia or fantasy, there is so much historical revisionism going on and people are entertained by it. In history, our era will go down as the beginning of the time when western culture turned a blind eye to its present day and started feeding on and regurgitating the past as a form of entertainment. We have to ask ourselves why the present is so hard to document, why it is so apparently difficult to make culture out of. Perhaps it is that life under western consumerism is so anonymous, featureless, and passionless; that it does not offer us any forward-looking narratives. It is a cycle of endless repetition, forgetting and consumption. This is why we have become so obsessed with the past. I value any authors that have the guts to face up to the present and document it in all its emptiness: DeLillo, Houllebecq, James Frey, Hanif Kureishi. I find theorists of more use than novelists; I’m reading a lot of Žižek right now.
First posted: Sunday, August 30th, 2009.