Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Politics of Knives

A fan of Jonathan Ball's previous book, Clockfire ("a rare combination of accessibility, experimental cred, and linguistic craft"), Stewart Coles doesn't do a very good job of hiding his disappointment with Ball's new collection:
while perhaps ambitious, The Politics of Knives undertakes a narrowly cerebral approach to its complex concerns, resulting in language that, while often vivid, rarely stirs from its cold inertia long enough to be truly tactile....most of its engagements with politics and violence remain purely theoretical, or more properly, purely verbal, so that we never sense the author’s investment in anything other than the somewhat patronizing constructs he cobbles together from the abstracted lexicons of these spheres of very real compromise, exploitation, and suffering

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