“independent scholar” steven moore is writing a history of the novel

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steven moore with felipe alfau and ms. of Chromos; Queens, NYC, May 1991

someone give steven moore a wikipedia entry! michael dirda has one.

steven moore–one of our most insightful critics, who was senior editor at the review of contemporary fiction and dalkey–is writing a book about the history of the novel. i’ll read it before i read anything by james wood. moore’s famously championed gaddis–but also vollman, ronald firbank, felipe alfau, william gass, carol maso and many others.

me, i seem these days to like my books short and elegantly collapsed from drug-overuse. not moore: “I quickly gravitated to huge novels like The Recognitions, The Sot-Weed Factor, Miss MacIntosh, My Darling, novels you could lose yourself in for weeks, and study for a lifetime. (It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I also like Wagner’s and Glass’ operas.) I do like some writers known for short novels—Firbank, Spackman, Markson, Ducornet—but generally I like ’em big and brainy.”

i swear i saw that he had a webpage of his own, but i can’t find it any more. [found it–thanks to victoria harding.] stumbled across this interview which has the above quote and where he also reveals this about his upcoming history:

“And I’m developing a secondary theme that fiction is a kind of secular literature running alongside every culture’s sacred literature—testing its validity in “real” life, so to speak—and that fiction is finally a more trustworthy guide to life than sacred texts.”

hear friggin hear.

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moore’s latest review: on 2666

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