eclectic inventories of consciousness


Adler’s novels concede the necessity of making fiction quicker, more terse, descriptively less elaborate than the traditional thing called a novel, not so much in deference to shrunken attention spans, but as the most plausible way of rendering the distracted, fragmentary quality of contemporary consciousness. Their reportorially even tone is quite distinct from the distorting lyricism found in most novels of sensibility; omitting much of what we expect in first-person narratives, Adler gets at the overfull yet depleted condition we find ourselves in now, peripatetic and restless, ever more deprived of the time and mental space to reflect on what we are really doing, or who we really are. They describe what it’s like to be living now, during this span of time, in our particular country and our particular world. This is what the best novels have always done, and with any luck will continue to do.

more from Gary Indiana at Bookforum here.