Posted by: gdevi | July 22, 2015

Obituary: E. L. Doctorow (1931-2015)

The epic American novelist E. L. Doctorow has died. Read Guardian’s obituary here. I like to reread Ragtime every now and then; also, Loon Lake. Both are great novels. People toss around the term “postmodern” all the time, and it is sort of embarrassing, but Doctorow (and Pyncheon or DeLillo) are perhaps the writers who really showed us postmodernism as a historical form, as a contingent aesthetic, its form. No other writer of the American canon shows quite so memorably how there is nothing called “realism” anymore in any truthful writing; nor does the novel have a “subject.”  A very beautiful prose writer and stylist who showed us the mass and plenitude of American History without manufactured inclusions and exclusions. And funny too. Rest in peace, Doctorow. You are a great writer.

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