Tim Martin

About an Author

10:04

By

Granta Books 256pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Writing this year about My Struggle, the vast autobiographical novel by the Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ben Lerner suggested that its central question might be ‘the problem of form rising from formlessness, of how to bring order to the undifferentiated mass of experience, and the relation of that problem to death’. Reading 10:04, Lerner’s second novel, you can see why the idea appealed to him so much. This restive, rambling, neurotic piece of work – occasionally illuminating, very often trying – is not exactly a response to Knausgaard’s exhaustive act of ‘literary suicide’, but it proceeds from similar agonies and frustrations. What is the novel for? How much rearrangement does it take to turn memoir into fiction? Isn’t it dishonest to reach for the conventional satisfactions of plot? And what is honesty anyway in a form this artificial?

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,