Yes, it's my ongoing war with the Guardian literary section and its hilarious inability to decide whether it should be laughably mediocre (the weirdly Fukuyama-like Zadie Smith telling us that there's no point in writing experimental novels because George Eliot achieved formal perfection) and the vapidly pretentious. Here, frequent blogger Lee Rourke opts for the latter alternative.
Question 1: You seem to be obsessed with flouting your (specifically modernist) experimental credentials. Ne'er a blog goes by where you don't pull out some oddly gnomic eulogisation of Blanchot, Bataille or Cendrars. Why, then, does the magazine you edit seem to be dominated largely by 'drugs and indie' hipster-lit?
Question 2: Your concept of 'Heideggerian' boredom, allegedly the kind that fascinates you the most, seems pretty woolly to me. In fact, it sounds suspiciously like the kind of existential caveat a 12 year old attempting to get out of going to a christening would employ. 'Like, Mum, nothing means anything anyway, you know.' If this was seriously the paraphrasable sum total of Heidegger's thought, do you really think we'd have spent the last half a century reading Being and Time for its contribution to (as opposed to negation of) metaphysics? Why do you sound so unconvincing when you say things like - and this is a paraphrase, but a fair one - 'boredom clouds even boredom itself'?
Question 3: Did your MA thesis contain more than ten iterations of the phrase 'that is not to say'?
Question 4: Do you stop reading Derrida on about the fourth page of 'Structure, Sign and Play'?
Question 5: Is there any chance that, like a number of humanities-educated people, you've used the critiques of subjectivity made by post-structuralism (and I'm guessing that Levinas, Blanchot and Deleuze are on your shelf) as the means with which to bolster a version of personal identity which those same critiques would undermine? Have you found your center in philosophical decenterings?
To be honest, though, I'm mostly pissed off because you didn't bother including Henry Green's Party Going on this list. It is a substantially better novel than Houllebecq's Whatever. I'll let you have Hunger, though, as it's pretty genre defining, though I was pretty shocked neither Thomas the Obscure or Death Sentence made it. Also: no Nausea? Or any novels by women (surely Charlotte Bronte's Villette and Elizabeth Bowen's The Hotel are almost perfect articulations of boredom and, yes, I'm willing to contend that this argument works on a formal-linguistic as well as thematic level)? The Magic Mountain?