Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Comic Novels

So the Guardian '1000 Novels' list is onto 'family' now, having covered comic fiction yesterday. Having embarassed myself on crime, I'll add my nominations in much better faith this time (as in, I'm not accusing them of making shocking omissions on this occasion!)

Alain Robbe-Grillet: Jealousy, The Erasers.
Iris Murdoch: The Black Prince.
Gustave Flaubert: Sentimental Education.
Patrick Hamilton: Slaves of Solitude, Mr Stimson and Mr Gorse (which could also have been a crime nomination.)
Henry Green: Nothing, Doting, Back.
Evelyn Waugh: All of Sword of Honour.
Gertrude Stein: Tender Buttons et al.

Is it facetious to say that I also find Death in Venice really funny? Also, I think J.G. Ballard's later novels court laughter in a vaguely self-parodying way.

Incidentally, I was very pleased to see Kafka get a mention under 'serious comedies', contra the angst-ridden claim that 'one may never laugh at Kafka' I once heard, and argued with, in a research seminar.

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