Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Steve Aylett: A Critical Anthology Paperback – July 11, 2016
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The essayists, each marvelous writers in their own right, probably couldn’t write the kind of essays Aylett skewers in his unspelled-out And Your Point Is? Scorn and Meaning in Jeff Lint’s Fiction.
Steve Aylett: A Critical Anthology, though no hagiography, is written by people who not only appreciate Aylett as much as I do but are also SA evangelicals.
“If he could just stop the Tourett’s flood of original ideas, dilute the language so the reader only had to pause and shake the head in admiration every paragraph or so rather than every other line, this man could be a sales phenomenon, could be a franchise.... Read the book, first to yourself, then, unavoidably, aloud to friends until they’re sick of you.”
— Alan Moore, from his “Introduction to Fain the Sorcerer”
There are many mind-scouring (often explosively funny) quotes from Aylett’s works and the man himself; and from Rachel Haywire, there’s a new interview. All the pieces, for the most part, speak in understandable tongues. ‘Diegetic’ was used only 5 times, four, in an extraordinary (tongue-in cheek?) work of scholarship by Iain Matheson; and Derrida barely gets a look-in. These essays, often with titles way too interesting for serious journals, are a mix of preoccupations and questions posed and plumbed, one of which is plot.
But plot, as Jim Matthews says, misses the point. He writes: “I’ll invite and deserve a lot of flak if I don’t at least briefly state that Aylett’s work goes a lot deeper than just first effects, and often no distinction can be made. The satirical element of his work is strung throughout like hi-tensile electric fence-wire and is, for him, paramount. He says, ‘People have lost touch with what real satire is...’ ”
They sure have. “[Shaun Micallef] refuses to spell out exactly what it means. The best satires ... are always very diligent in explaining their jokes.” — Ben Pobjie, “I blame Shaun Micallef for the horror of Australian politics", Sydney Morning Herald, July 7, 2016
Now, that is imo, a perfect piece of satire, showing why today’s true satirists are rare as standup comedians who don’t laugh at their jokes. But satire is always rooted in tragedy—so because Aylett is the real thing and is tragically, nowhere near as famous as he should be, and because his masterpiece Lint should be always in print in say, a “Popular Penguin” edition but so far, isn’t — I hazarded trying this book.
The discussions of satire in this volume—what it is, what Aylett thinks it is, great satirists, in the opinions of these essayists and Aylett himself—are both fascinating and desperately needed. I loved Andrew Wenaus’ “Satire, Anxiety, and Prospect in The Caterer” partly because I agree with Spencer Pate in thinking Aylett’s masterpieces to be Lint and And Your Point Is?, and I would add The Caterer comic.
You will not only find gems you mightn't find for yourself in Aylett's works, but many other treasures--other authors' works, musicians' (Spencer Pate's "The Wonderful and Frightening Worlds of Mark E. Smith and Steve Aylett" is a personal favourite), and running back to Aylett, background, underpinnings, motivations, nuances. The essays themselves also give such vicarious pleasure as they transmit their joy in discovery. You will also find that spirit of mentorship/admiration/camaraderie/almost a salon, that is in the best spirit of brilliant creatives inspiring/encouraging each other instead of seeing each other as competitors. And I’ve left the editors and essayists Bill Ectric and D. Harlan Wilson to last. I particularly liked Bill Ectric’s lovely description of exploring Aylett’s treasures. He is one of those modest people who has so much under the surface, yet doesn’t let on about his erudition. This book is, I think, primarily his brainchild, but he and Wilson must have complemented each other to produce such a fine, and subversive outcome.
Far from putting you off an author, this book of critical essays does what they all should—Enhance, entrance, intrigue, and make you want to get your mitts on, at the very least, every work by the unique Steve Aylett.