By Gilbert Sorrentino
Borrowing its name from a William Carlos Williams poem, A unusual Commonplace lays naked the secrets and techniques and desires of characters whose lives are intertwined via accident and necessity, possessions and experience.
Ensnared in a jungle of urban streets and suburban bed room groups from the boozy Nineteen Fifties to the culturally vacuous current, strains blur among households and pals, violence and love, desire and melancholy. As fathers attempt to hook up with their young ones, as writers fight for credibility, as other halves stroll out, and an previous guy performs Russian roulette with a deck of playing cards, their tales resonate with poignancy and savage humor—familiar, tragic, and cathartic.
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This can be my experiment. i'm hoping you take pleasure in this. Dragomoshchenko is my favourite poet. This booklet is lovely difficult to find.
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Additional info for A Strange Commonplace
56 But what happens when postmodern socio-cultural assumptions and interpretations become dominant? 57 And, furthermore, this convention will certainly not effectuate in the kind of reassuring ‘as if’ reality that Giddens was thinking of. Here we can see a difference again, between an earlier generation who grew up in a more ‘conventional’ milieu and then confronts the possibilities and trials in a postmodern culture, and the perhaps really ‘postmodern generation’, born in the sixties and seventies, who may have internalized postmodern insights that were at one time culturally significant but have now become more of a cluster of clichés, ‘framing’ cultural thought, and framing, also, how we think of our selves.
96 An extreme self-consciousness characterizes the thought process of many of the human figures in the novels, paradoxically perhaps, since what is this self that they are conscious of? These figures may seem self-centered, continually reflecting on their own self, but there is no self, fixated in mind, as a stable object of reflection – and the reflection on the self therefore results in an infinite regress, causing what could be called an existential implosion. Feelings of indecision, and a condition that in Infinite Jest is labeled ‘analysis paralysis’, are a result of this infinite reflection and regression.
100 On the commodification of feelings, and how this is presented in (post)modern fiction, see for example: Tyson, Psychological Politics of the American Dream: The Commodification of Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century American Literature. : MIT Press, 1996) 165-66. 97 ‘Something Urgent and Human’: Beyond Postmodernism, an Introduction 45 of feelings is a very important new element in the fiction of Wallace cum suis. How this restructuring of affect works out, in practice, leads us to the third and last symptom I have singled out, which I will refer to as (paraphrasing Hal Incandenza’s words) ‘a structural need for a we’.
A Strange Commonplace by Gilbert Sorrentino