An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, December 26, 2005


Last year, it was the biography of B S Johnson. This year, it's the B S Johnson Omnibus (Picador, paperback, ISBN 0-330-35332-2). My kids are doing me proud in years of late.

It's good to see Johnson back in print. When first I heard of him only one novel of his was in print. The amazing Bloodaxe books brought him, one of the finest experimental British novelists of the 20th century, to my attention and for that I owe them a great debt. To Johnson, I owe a greater debt: he revitalised my faith in the modern novel form; he provided me with a list of authors working within and without the novel form (Aren't You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs?LINK); he showed me the way. Johnson is not the Einstein of the novel (as he himself described Joyce - not a parallel I would choose but then the regard that that world that time had for Einstein was not ours or mine) but his experiments are pointers to where the novel could go. They are styistic tours de force and experiments that illuminate a different post modern agenda.I recommend the omnibus to anybody who can read English and is interested in the novel form.

I look forward to re-reading Albert Angelo, and Trawl. House Mother Normal I am now so familiar with, that I need no re-acquaniting. I passed authors to several friends this Xmas as presents and BSJ was one. I offer him to all of you as one of your new authors for 2006. The Omnibus is great introductory book for all of you.

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