23 June, 2021

A Weak Dose Of LSD

No thrills here, just meaningless tragic frills to a fantasy no one can really fancy

A Weak Dose Of LSD
Some reviewers, presumably to save themselves the trouble of writing down the full title, have nicknamed this book LSD. It is curiously apposite, for parts of it read as though they were written under the influence of that interesting substance. LSD is ingested by letting it melt on the tongue or sucking it. Many have praised the book and the author too copiously. One might say that it and he have made suckers of them all. In literature today, mass delusion is a common means to an end. Agents and publishers have colluded to make it a fact of literary life.

When a reviewer declares that a novel contains "magic realism", it generally means that he likes it, and may indeed feel it is a masterpiece. But it is usually difficult to pinpoint what this means. Magic realism is a genre some writers have cultivated in recent years, most successfully in South America, but it is not new. It implies a delicate use of irony and fantasy in its distortion of what exists. It looks through, not into, a mirror to discover its true self.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice books are classic examples of...

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